The China Experience: Part 1: Driving

I was amazed. How do people squat down to take a number 2? Compared to western toilets these, "squatty potties" were literally a ceramic hole in the ground that flushed. I couldn't do it and I cleaned myself up and left. My trustworthy family had abandoned me to go look for fabrics in the world's largest wholesale business fair. So I was stuck in the middle of 65 acres of factory owners trying to draw customers to their small booths in the middle of Guangzhou, China without anybody I knew or anybody that spoke English. Good job Luke!

Let me start off by saying that Chinese Culture is unique to say the least. When I was blessed with the opportunity to travel halfway around the world to attend the world's largest business fair, I had no idea of what I was getting myself into. Being from the United States, my preconceptions of what the China experience was going to be differed completely from the actual experience.

Our fearless driver pulled up to the edge of the intersection and didn't even look both ways and without hesitating laid on the horn and went on his way.

PART 1

The Driving. In America we have guided lines and politely signal over to change lanes and only honk in certain situations to avoid wrecks. In China they don't care. At. All. If you want to change lanes or go in front of someone whoever has the loudest horn and largest pair of balls gets the right away. For instance on the ride from the airport to the hotel we had to merge onto the freeway to get to Guangzhou. There are no speed limits (Or at least no cops to regulate speeding) so every car is traveling at 100 mph+. They don't slow down and in order to merge you just gotta floor it, honk, and pray that you don't get hit.

 

Another instance is on a one way city street in heavy traffic we encountered a food truck unloading, a parked car in another lane, and a space big enough to fit a small car in the middle of the street. Our driver, being accustomed to the driving habits of China, casually tilted his mirrors in and floored it 40 mph through a gap that I swear had only three inches of giveaway space on either side. Talk about scary.

After suffering mini heart attacks on the three hour drive to the hotel the last instance is what almost caused me to have cardiac arrest. We pulled up to a busy, six-lane intersection which had no light. I was taken aback. If you honked the loudest and floored it, you'd get through 50 other cars trying to navigate the open space at the same time. Its like a bingo ball randomizer. 50 fast objects moving around, all at different speeds and directions. Our fearless driver pulled up to the edge of the intersection and didn't even look both ways and without hesitating laid on the horn and went on his way. Cars screeched, swerved, and Im pretty sure I heard a few Chinese cuss words fly through the air. From this point i knew the culture was going to be "unique" to say the least.

It had only been less than 4 hours and I had almost died on multiple occasions, suffered from severe jet lag and food deprivation, and we were only getting started. This was going to be awesome so I went with it all as I excitedly dragged my suitcase in the hotel.

 

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