Monday, 25 May 2009

Strange traffic

Not the red car, but the other one - completely blocking the laneway.

Well, it is better than in Shaoxing, but the traffic here in Jeonju can be a little hard to fathom. It appears taxis and the little motor bikes that deliver food from almost every restaurant do not need to stop at stop lights, or bother with traffic. They clearly have their own rules.

Cars rule too. Pedestrians give way to cars - even if you have the green man telling you that it is safe for pedestrians to cross the road, and some cars have stopped, don't think that you the pedestrian always have the right of way. Traffic can come from any direction. Just look out. Look left, look right, look behind, look ahead, and walk with caution!

The main roads have footpaths, which resemble obstacle courses. The pavements aren't necessarily level and sometimes the pavement is built around a rock, so the chances of tripping are very high. Look up, look ahead, look down as you walk. Beware. Some of the undulating roadway is almost invisible - watch out at all times.

Yesterday I was waiting for my pick-up and a car pulled up at the corner. (See above). Four young men got out, and left the car - one door was still open, while they went into the shop right near where they parked their car. As I knew my friends would come that way to collect me for class, I watched and wondered what was going to happen. Cars passed by in the other direction, but clearly no one wanted to drive down the little laneway while they were there. Minutes later, armed with soft drink and food, the four boys got back into their car and drove on down past me.

It's funny - almost everyone who has driven me complains about the other drivers, but I see that they too do not stick to the road rules. Not that I have felt unsafe, as for the most part they do not drive fast. The police, if they bothered, would have a field day with drivers using their mobile phones while driving. One must wear seat belts - but only if you see a policeman. And children often go unrestrained in the front seat of a vehicle.

It's different.

1 comment:

Kiwi Riverman - The Writer said...

They obviously have their own style and local customs. Wouldn't be any good in Sydney or New york though!