We’re gunna die

I was warned. 

Scary taxi rides in Korea are nothing compared to those in China. 

Horns are used instead of indicators. If only it was just the noise!

Dirty smelly cars. Both inside and out. Seemed the norm. 

Car doors held together with twine. Or some other part. The dash. The seat. 

Taxis without seat belts.retty standard. 

Taxi driver who argues on his mobile phone while changing gears in heavy traffic as he swerves between “lanes” in light rain. Not that rare. 

See, maybe there are so many Chinese they can afford to lose a few. But we Australians are relatively rare. 

Concierge calls over taxi for us. “We’re going to die,” I say to my companion. The car is struggling along the entrance, battered and dented, filthy, driven by a gangster. The concierge understands me and moves to wave the taxi on. Not wanting to appear a precious Western, I say it is OK and we get in. 

Nah, should have let this one pass. No seat belts. Car stinks. Inside held together by twine. The driver overcharges us and issues a receipt with nothing on it.   

Many of the taxi trips (taken because there is no metro) I travel with one eye closed. Gasping as we come within millimetres of a bus, a pedestrian, another car. 

Google doesn’t work on China. Anyone want to look up the death rate on China’s roads. I’m guessing it is massive. 

Ah heaven. A clean car. And seat belts. I offered that taxi driver a tip if he didn’t use his horn. I was so impressed that he didn’t use it when someone cut in. He said he doesn’t use the horn as it just adds to stress. He drove calmly. And not one beep. My companion, who as a Chinese-Australian doesn’t believe in tipping, was a bit surprised when I gave a large tip. Still cheaper than a taxi in Sydney. 

 With no seat belt what will happen I hit the bars? Any ideas?

 
In Fuzhou they have London black taxis. Strange, I know. My companion was hesitant as they are more expensive. But a clean car that you can step into. With seat belts. Worth it. 

Inside a London black taxi

 
On the upside, all taxis are really cheap. So I will still leave a lot to my family when I die. 
Edited to ad: just asked for a taxi. One with brakes and seat belts please. I like living. 

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7 thoughts on “We’re gunna die

  1. World Health Organisation: every year at least 200,000 people die in China as a result of traffic accidents. At least 4 times more than what Chinese official statistics cite.
    So…your instincts were right! Pay the extra money.
    Safe travels until you return!

  2. Is it any wonder that Chinese people love to come to Australia. They get blue skies and little probability of dying from a traffic accident during their holiday…

    • Not sure about the intention or if it is a by product of being in a hurry. Only two taxi rides left and then I am on a plane home. Yay. It’s been an exhausting work trip.

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