Saturday, 15 March 2008

The woman taxi driver and the wild ride.

I've said before that you have to experience the traffic to believe it. Yesterday M2 and I walked to the Tesco supermarket at the HyMall. It is a good three km walk - on level ground, and quite a pleasant walk really.

We did our shopping and with our bags of goodies set out to find a way back to the college. There is a bus - but it is infrequent, which is why we choose to walk one way and find a taxi for the return trip.

We easily found a taxi - and for the first time I experienced a female taxi driver. I think she was a little nervous about having foreigners in the car. For the first time I sat in the front seat and M2 was in the back.

She took us on a wild ride home! Tooting as she weaved in and out of cars (two of which were police cars) and buses, pedestrians, cyclists and all. As she approached the West Gate of the college, we could all see the traffic stopped at the pedestrian crossing which has lights to control the traffic, and we looked in horror as she set out to beat the lights and get in to the college entrance before the traffic moved.

She drove wildly onto the wrong side of the road, over the double line (which doesn't seem to make sense here to anyone who drives), and as the traffic was facing the green light and headed in our direction, she weaved and tooted, as traffic went in all directions in an effort not to hit her, and she swung into the drive way near the gate and stopped.

I could hear M2 gasping in the back seat, and I don't think I took a breath for several minutes. The taxi ride cost 6 Yuan - you can do a calculation on - and as we gathered our bags and walked through the college gates, M2 said. "I've tried to explain that to my friends back home, but you just can't!"

After all, we keep saying, this is China. You do have to experience it.

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