Monday, March 31, 2008

after Guangxi

After the trip to Guangxi with my friends, I have a
new appreciation for China and Chinese.

A lot of people complain about the chaotic traffic
condition. Yes, it is problematic, yet I don't think
people should be too critical of it. China is still a
country in development. Not everybody in China can
afford a standardize vehicle. That's why we see
anything from manpowered cart, tricycle, refitted
motorcycle, cattle, cars and truck sharing the same
road. As for the narrow and potholes-filled roads in
the countryside, aside from the corruption problems,
we have to consider that China (especially rural
China) is at a rather early development stage. We
can't really expect LA sized 6 lanes freeway for
rural China. Visitors kind of have to accept the
current condition of China. Vans and cars has to
overtake another slower vehicle on narrow one lane
freeway, which is considered very dangerous, because
those drivers just can't follow a cattle cart for
the whole trip.

I believe crossing the road is as dangerous in China
as in Hong Kong where there's no traffic light.
Chinese drivers actually slow down or change lane for
pedestrians whereas most Hong Kong drivers do not. In
Guangxi, I find the drivers there to be much more
polite than their Hong Kong counterpart. Hong Kong
drivers would occasionally give a mouthful of
profanity and excessive honking to careless
pedestrian. Just think about many people got run over
by buses, taxi and minibuses in Hong Kong recently.
Hong Kong drivers have a low regard to human values
and our legal system accommodate that thinking.