Playing in Traffic…And Other Dangerous Pursuits

You know as a kid, people tell you, “Don’t play in traffic.” Or, if you were a bad kid, they told you TO play in traffic.

Well, in order to cross any street or take any taxi in Shanghai, you do have to play in traffic. And I’m not talking just a little bit, like “Oh, I’m going to jay-walk across this non-busy street.” No, this is full-out, near-body-contact playing in traffic. Definitely not for pansies.

First of all, they do drive on the right side of the road, just like Americans. However, there is any sort of turn on a red light, including left. So, be aware of that when you cross. Also contending for your attention are scooters and bikes. And they can drive where they please – including sidewalks. It’s a game of rock-paper-scissors. Just like rock beats scissors, buses beat cars. Cars beat scooters. Scooters beat bikes. Everything beats a pedestrian.

So goes my first three weeks of living here.

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