Two accidents and one death – an open letter to the traffic in Chengdu
Dear China and Chinese people
You drive like maniacs! I thought I had it bad when I couldn't remember to look left first in England, but you make that seem like child play. Not only are there a million cars on every road, even the narrow ones, but there are also scooters, bicycles and pedestrian weaving in and out throughout the traffic, like they all exist in their own worlds and can never collide. also, as a side note the light does not turn green faster if you keep honking, and you can not make the queue move, the louder you honk.
In China the taxies usually have the seat-belts squeezed behind the back seat, so it's impossible to wear them, and apparently it's offensive to the driver, because it means that you don't trust his driving talents.... The taxi drivers do wear their seatbelt, but don't buckle it, they just have it half way on... Why even bother, if you don't buckle it? However much it scares me to get into a taxi in Chengdu, Linnea and I often defy fate, and tell ourself that we can live life on the wild side, and get in. Yesterday that concluded in the most incompetent and also competent driver at the same time. We were terrified for our lives on the back seat, but he got us ”safely” to our destination in 5 minutes, for 9 kr. Some other taxi might have used 15 (but probably charged us the same). In conclusion: I should stop pulling my Danish standards and expectations down over the Chinese people.
With that being said, the Chinese traffic is still not a safe place, or a nice place. In one day we (Linnea and I) saw two accidents, one where a car hit a scooter, and one where a car hit a bicycle. Luckily we didn't see the actual accident, only the aftermath, where the injured had been taken to the hospital. However walking through Chengdu this afternoon with Summer, we heard a woman screaming and crying and saw the big group of people gathering around the corner. When we reached the group an old woman was kneeling by a lifeless body, that was being covered by a white sheet. She was crying out in a mixture of anger and sorrow as everyone stood by and watched. The police quickly told us to leave, it wasn't the picture of China that was intended for foreigners.
I expected to see something like this, especially in China, but I didn't expect it to be all in one day and including death.
However our apartment has been inhabited by Summers tiny puddle Noki, who is currently trying to convince me to throw his ball, so the world is not all bleak. We also met the kids in the kindergarden, they are incredibly cute!