Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Belt Up!

I’m in deep shock! I had to come home and lie down. I may need psychiatric treatment. Post-traumatic stress disorder, I reckon!

It all started off so simply. An old friend was in town unexpectedly and only for a very short time. She called me and said “Quick! Come to meet me. We can have a quick drink.” So I headed out and caught a taxi.

They are trying to confuse me. Time was taxis were red. End of story. Then they introduced some in a hideous shade of green. As I have mentioned before, I have steadfastly refused to use these on aesthetic grounds. Then we got some silver ones. In the last few days, however, I have seen taxis of all different colours. Dark green, brown and some neat looking blue and yellow ones!

Anyway, I hopped into a regular red taxi and informed the driver of my required destination. Instead of taking off like a bat out of, he politely requested that I avail myself of the services of the seat belt! Only then did I notice that he, himself, was wearing a seatbelt! I had long harboured the notion that seat belts were actually illegal in China!

Well, not quite, but certainly I’ve never seen anyone wearing one in Liuzhou before. I decided that I had hit lucky and found Liuzhou’s only genuinely eccentric taxi driver. A few minutes later, we were stuck in a traffic jam and I glanced around. To my distress and amazement, I noticed that all the taxi drivers were using seatbelts!

My survival instincts leapt into play and my congenital predilection for removing myself from strange and threatening situations came to the forefront. I immediately leapt out of the taxi and ran, screaming and wailing, up the street! (Slight exaggeration!) I staggered off for a brief meeting with my friend who is now extremely worried about my mental health, then stumbled home for the aforementioned recuperative rest! En route, I passed all these signs exhorting me to “Obey Traffic Laws; Pay Attention to Road Safety”


Reminder: Obey traffic laws; pay attention to road safety.

After 5:30, I tentatively wandered out again and to my immense relief saw that the locals had gone back to their usual habit of totally ignoring traffic laws and going for the “me first” option. (The traffic cops had all gone home for a lie down!) Back to normal!

Tags: , . This entry was posted on Thursday, January 12th, 2006 at 5:50 pm and is filed under Liuzhou Life, Traffic Traumas, Travel. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Belt Up!”

  1. Carl Johnson Says:

    When I started elementary school in Tennessee, well over half century ago I had to take an eye test that was precisely like that.
    Maybe it’s universal?
    Perhaps The Chinese stole the idea from us?
    After all, Tennessee is ‘The Cultural Center’ of the universe!

  2. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    What are you talking about? There is no mention of an eye test in this post.

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