What is it like to drive in China?

April 8, 2015 at 12:59 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A most interesting and surprising answer from an old China hand found on Quora

Driving in China is like driving in a utopia. The intercity roads are all high grade expressway. The urban roads are lined with trees, bushes and flowers.

Signage is excellent and very clear, nearly always in romanization as well as Chinese. The only trap for beginners us a tendency to use traditional names for cities. Ie the expressway between Nanjing and Shanghai is called the Huning Expressway. Only a Chinese knows that Shanghai is Hu沪, and Nanjing is Ning 宁。

At the urban level too there is no uniformity, romanization varies between English and Pinyin. Sometimes it reflects local pronunciation, and sometimes standard. But these are minor problems.

The only other problem is the lack of respect for laws. Drivers in the fast lane will drive slowly if on the phone. If they miss a turn off They simply back up at high speed. They will drive in the bicycle lane to miss a traffic light, in either direction. They will happily drive on the wrong side of the road if it saves them a U-turn. The golden rule for traffic coming out of side streets is: never stop and look. In fact no driver is responsible for what goes on behind him so they will pull into the fast lane at 90 just as you are coming up at 150km. And remember never to stop in the emergency stopping lane. In China it’s the high speed passing lane.

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Fleas in Arizona test positive for THE PLAGUE after disease begins decimating prairie dog population: “Fleas in Arizona have tested positive for the plague and could spread the deadly disease to humans, according to officials. The plague, which famously killed millions of Europeans during the Black Death, is most commonly carried by fleas and rodents. Prairie dog deaths at Picture Canyon in Arizona alerted officials to the possibility of an outbreak. Parasitic insects from the preserve near a water treatment plant in Flagstaff were found to carry the illness. Human cases have developed from close contact with cats who have preyed on infected vermin and residents in the Southwest have been warned about dangers of the disease while camping. The Southwestern US is similar to the plains of Central Asia where plague began. Plague is still contracted by as many as 2,000 people a year, according to the World Health Organization, though the vast majority of cases are in sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar. Insecticide has been sprayed in prairie dog burrows in Picture Canyon to halt the plague’s spread. Modern medications are effective in fighting the plague, also known by its bacterial name Yersinia pestis, though it can be deadly if left untreated.”

Even the dog surrendered: “A dog belonging to a Brazilian drugs gang has proved that learning to drop and roll is not just for humans. When police in the southern state of Santa Catarina busted the gang’s lair, the loyal canine laid down alongside its owner and rolled over on its back. Police spokesman Filippo Valdez said: ‘The officers had been observing the gang for some time and when they arrested them they recovered a substantial quantity of marijuana and cocaine, as well as weighing scales, guns and ammunition. m’There was a male dog that was barking when officers burst onto the scene but when it saw its owners obeying the command to lie down, it ran over and laid down as well.’ Brazilian animal psychiatrist and dog trainer Barnie Rico said: ‘The dog lying on its back exposing its belly is a classic sign of submission in the dog world. ‘It is clearly a very clever animal because it saw the rest of its pack given in, and decided to copy them.’ Online users pointed out that with police tending to simply shoot dogs on site when carrying out armed raids, it was probably a good move to make sure everyone realised the animal wouldn’t cause any trouble. It was reportedly not arrested with the rest of the suspected gang.”

Baby has a priceless reaction to toy hen that lays multi-colored eggs: “Forget the Easter Bunny, it was an egg-laying chick spreading the joy in one household. A video uploaded by YouTube user Shkesi shows a baby girl mesmerized by a toy mothering hen. As the motorized plush bird bounces up and down and pops out an egg, the infant can barely believe her eyes. When the first egg emerges she cries for joy and when the third comes she lets out a shriek with her arms waving around. Before laying its eggs – which are unfortunately plastic, not chocolate – the toy bird plays a short song. ‘I’m about to show you how it’s done, laying eggs is so much fun,’ it chimes. After the show is over, the baby’s big sister asks if she would like to see it again. The little girl lets out another scream signaling a ‘yes’ as she sits excitedly wriggling in her highchair.

Bobcat pictured dragging a SHARK out of the surf: “A bobcat was snapped hauling a shark along a Florida beach in an unbelievable photograph. The image was taken at Sebastian Inlet State Park near Vero Beach by John Bailey, WPTV reported. Bailey told the television station that the bobcat collected the shark after entering the water. Amy Kight, Busch Wildlife Sanctuary’s Animal Care Director, told WPTV: ‘My first reaction was amazement that somebody actually took that picture because bobcats are generally very, very reclusive. ‘You don’t really see them out and about too often.’ A spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has said she believes the image is genuine. FWC’s Liz Barraco told WESH ‘There is no reason to believe it’s fake.’ The bobcat exhibited typical behavior, FWC officials told the NBC affiliate station.

Food allergies ‘can be passed on in blood transfusions’: “Children may be at risk from developing life-threatening food allergies after receiving a blood transfusion from an affected donor, doctors have warned. The phenomenon is rare, but could happen more often than is currently reported, they say. The food allergies most commonly implicated are those involving milk, eggs and peanuts. Doctors in Canada highlighted the case of an eight-year-old boy with no history of allergies who received donated blood products during brain cancer treatment. Within two weeks he had reacted badly to salmon and peanuts and had to carry an adrenaline injector for emergencies. The Canadian Blood Services tracked a donor with severe food allergies who had contributed platelets to the pooled transfusion involved. The individual has been excluded from all future donations. Allergy tests carried out four months later showed the child had no reaction to the suspect foods, and his family safely reintroduced them to his diet within six months.

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

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