18 November 2007

Chinese Transportation and Law

Yes, this is a typical scene from a Beijing inner city road. I say 'typical' but this actually looks quite tame compared with reality. As you can see, there is a line of vehicles that are queueing past the traffic lights, including a bus which is stretched right across the pedestrian crossing so that
a) it is impossible to cross and
b) you can't see the pedestrian light anyway.

Not only this but a taxi is illegally trying to muscle in on the queue, but unfortunately ends up static at an angle of 45 degrees to the aforementioned line of traffic.

If you try to cross the road while the pedestrian light is clearly green and the traffic light is screamingly bright red, the bus drivers take offence if you try to cross the road (traffic jam or no traffic jam)...I mean how dare you cross and place your body in their direct and sacred path? There is only one thing thing left to do: lean on the horn and continue driving directly at you and hope that you are quick enough to jump out of the way. I mean, hey, there are six billion other people on the planet, one billion of whom are Chinese, so we can afford to lose a few.

As for the fella on the bike, good luck to him. And good luck to the Chinese government when attempting to clamp down on this behaviour during the 2008 Olympics.

Next up is bus number 000, which is a secret bus that takes you underground where Chinese communist leaders plot their next move against the West.... The bus driver probably forgot to do the numbers, which really spoils the mystery.

By far one of the coolest contraptions I have ever seen. Introducing the err...motor-bicycle, the environmentally-friendly bicycle that has a motor attached to the back of it. If the user gets tired or bored of pedalling they can sit back and enjoy the ride. Perhaps all countries round the world should invest in these.

13 November 2007

Chinese Manners

I am still in the middle of uploading our photographs of China, due to my busy schedule etc. Busy doing what exactly? I mean really, what have I been doing the past few weeks? Last weekend I slept (due to catching one of those nasty little colds that one of the kids had been brewing just for me), went to a Korean restaurant, tried to sort out the problem with my phone (but to no avail), studied Korean, and got my hair cut (I'm growing it out for the wedding, you see). Well, this seems like quite a busy weekend but surely I could have snatched some time here and there to upload some photographs onto Photobucket?

And the weekend before? Saturday morning was spent lazing in bed, the afternoon in Incheon looking for a pub that we can hold the wedding reception in (rather unsuccessfully), and Sunday was spent shopping with a friend for the best part of the day. Again, surely I should have been able to squeeze in half an hour or so to upload these blessed photographs?

And how about the mornings before I actually go to work? Spent sleeping, cooking and studying of course. Can't I multi-task and upload these pictures at the same time? It seems not.

So, the main reason for not having time to upload these photos (other than inherent laziness)? World of Warcraft. Yes, that's right. Songsu and I networked our computers in our home and have been battling it out on some silly computer game any time we can get. Not only that but I was stupid enough not to realise that I CAN in fact upload photographs and play this dratted game at the same time.

This evening I promised myself NO MORE WOW, JUST UPLOAD SOME PHOTOGRAPHS.

And so I did, though I am not anywhere near finished uploading them all.

Without further ado, I will now insert a couple of photographs from China. I label these photographs "Chinese Manners". The Chinese, I found, were very rude and inconsiderate of everybody around them. Either that or they go around lost in their own little world where they are the only person in it. Frequently, when it it was blindingly obvious that I was trying to take a photo, they would shove their bag, mobile phone or in fact themselves right in the way, only a few inches from the camera lens. This was not just a simple mistake, oh no no no. It was more than that. I wonder just what they are thinking when they do this ? "It's ok, she can take it again after I have moved" or something like that. In the end I gave up and purposely took some glorious shots of such examples. I am quite proud of the photo of the mobile phone, where I focussed on it and made the background blurred (a technique that Songsu taught me a while ago); quite artistic, I thought.