August 17th, 2010 §
Nah, not really, but how else am I going to get you to read my blog. Ok so here is the story. It happened last night.
Here it is.
The set up. I am in a taxi heading to do something. I tell the driver to stop. It happens to be by a red light so he just pulls up to to the light. We are the first in line so to speak. I give a fifty. He has to count 45 back and give it to me. This takes something like one minute. Not that long. We are at a red light on a three lane road. We are on the outside lane, 2ft from a curb. On the other side of the curb sits a bike lane. He counts the money and give it to me. I check the blind spot of the car quickly, tell the guy thanks and do something I always to, I crack the door. I don’t wing it open, I just crack it. Wroom. A effing motorcycle flys by the door right as I crack it. He swerves a bit and stops after he runs the red light. I am assuming that his intention was to skim by all the cars lined up at the red light. Squeeze through the 2ft of space that he had and run the light and be off on his merry way. But what he didn’t expect was someone to open a door at the light.
Like I said I didn’t wing it open. Just cracked it. What would of happened if I would of winged it open. Well perhaps I would get to use all the bad Chinese words that I know. I check the blind spot, but this guy was flying. I’d say he was doing 20mph past all the cars. Even if I made sure that no one was coming he is coming at a rate of say 20 mph, 29 ft per second, so, in half a sec he could of been 15 ft out behind the car behind us. Anyway I think he about pooped himself. Well, him and the guy riding on the tail of the bike. I got out, I know what was going to happen. They stopped and looked back at who almost hit them while they were running a red light going through traffic. It was a foreigner. On my own defense, I wasn’t going to hit them. I crack the door so that if there is someone there they see it. But they just happened to be in the perfect spot to see it and just about wipe out. 1/10 of a sec later they wouldn’t of seen it and never of noticed anything.
They looked back saw me, I ignored them. They said something among themselves and left. Down south, were I lived for a bit, you cannot drive motorcycles and mopeds in the city. This is why. It hinders traffic, causes accidents, etc. But here in this city they can do whatever they want. And what motorcycles, bikes, and what have you, do is this, THEY DON’T FOLLOW ANY RULES OF THE ROAD. I made that big to make a point. Nothing. Nada. They don’t stop at red lights, or anything. They just, in the past 2 months, started to have 3 lights, maybe 4, that bikes have to stop. But besides those lights, you have mopeds, bikes, motorcycles, running lights, crossing roads, in and out of traffic. No wonder more people die here in car accidents that most all of China. It’s crazy.
How who’s fault would it of been if those guys wiped out. Mine, because I opened a car door? Theirs because they were weaving in traffic and running a red light? I don’t know. Do bikes have to follow the rules of the road, I don’t know. But what would of happened is this. They would of played up whatever happened. Pitted everyone against me, and tried to get as much cash as possible out of me. I would of had to pay for probably everything, would have to call some people I know. They would get all their medical bills paid for included whatever wasn’t caused from the accident. A new motorcycle because the damage that the bike had before would of been played off as caused by me. All cash. Insurance is a new concept here. So well, I would have to dish some over. Perhaps I would of been right and not had to pay anything. But lets think about this. 1.4 billion Chinese and me. I lose.
So what is the major problem here. Well I think in part it is this. China has a massive amount of laws. Most all go unenforced. Say that motorcycles have to follow the rules of the road. But the Police haven’t enforced these rules in this city at all. Citizens then do whatever they want. This goes on for years until some thing happens. Then they have to start enforcing it. The Olympics come or something where they have to “clean up” the city. Then they have to retrain all the people about the law that has always been on the books. Extremely difficult to say the least. This has also happened recently with business and other aspects of foreigen investment and what not.
Nothing new just another day in China.
So yeah, don’t wing open taxi doors, EVER.
UPDATE: I was walking home when I saw a guy do just about the same thing that I did. Except it wasn’t nearly as close. So I asked him who’s problem would it be if he hit the guy on the moped. His answer: His. He or I or anyone who exits a vehicle has to check and make sure there isn’t a law ignoring, speeding, reckless motorcycle wizzing throw traffic and running light coming up behind them. Huh. Well, this is one instance where Western minds won’t quite agree.
April 7th, 2010 §
Let me explain. Taxis most of the time are fine. But there are times that taxis really suck dirty gorilla fingers.
Yesterday I told taxi driver guy that I needed to go to a certain town/district. Ok cool. I also told him that I would tell him where to go. Mostly because I don’t want him to take a bunch of turns that driving up the fare and also because even if I tell him exactly where I need to go, he is not going to know where it is. It’s a small place and no one knows the name of the business. So off we went.
Now I have GPS in my phone. I have to say that it’s the raddest thing ever. One, I know where I am and two, I know where to go. I took a look at my map and concluded that the fastest way, the only way around this lake is to go to the right of it. I told him to take a right. He does. Next we need to take a left and get on the road that goes directly to where I need to go. I tell him, next street on the left, go left. What happens? The road turns into a expressway and to go left you have to be on the right and cloverleaf on.
We are on the left and can’t get back right. It doesn’t help that he didn’t prepare. So now we have to go way out of the way just to turn around because this damn road doesn’t have any exits. F.
So finally he figures it out. We turned around and took a right where we need to take a left in the first place.
Today I get the same guy. I tell him to go to the same place as yesterday. Off we go. You know the road that we need to take a left at. Well, he figures the exit out and we get on the on ramp but.. He splits off to the right and not the left.. I, at this point, can’t believe it. So I have to tell him it’s wrong and to turn an around. He argues for a sec, then turns around. Finally realizes that oh yeah now we are going the right way.
I don’t know if he was scared to ask me or what. Maybe.
March 8th, 2010 §
That’s right folks. It takes 30 minutes to hang a towel holder on a wall. 15 to hang it the first time and 15 to hang it level. I deal with this stuff everyday. How about more on what things are like in the PRC
30 minutes to hang a towel hanger.
I almost got hit by 5 cars today. 2 when I was in a taxi. 3 while walking.
Coffee flavored Oreo sticks + 4 pints of beer = the taste of burnt pancakes without butter.
A 5 USD 60 minute foot massage is a cheap Mandarin lesson.
I stepped on an electrical cord the other day. It sissled and almost started on fire. I didn’t even flinch. Neither did the Chinese guy next to me. He just bent down and unplugged it. Nothing new.
No one works until the boss shows up or new potential clients arrive. Then Sh*t starts flying.. Everyone is working, fast, etc.. When they leave it all stops.
A taxi guy tried to stiff me the other day. I said 35 bucks to get home. He said 50, I said no, too much. 35 is enough. He said 50, I said I leave from here all the time. 35 is enough. He said ok. I get home. I give him a 50, the only bill I had. He said ok. I had to argue with him to give me back 15. He gave me back 5. I then said I will break the sh*t out of his dash meter thing if he didn’t give me 10 more back. He gave me 10 more.
People think I must be dumb because I am foreign. I like to scare them and tell them I know what they are talking about. I start ripping out some Chinese, they start pooping pants. Usually they shut up.
I had a heated discussion about a file name. I was given a usb with photos on it. I copied the two I know where the newest. The Chinese guy said those were not the newest. He was positive. I then showed him that the time on the file was 2 minutes ago. he shut up and walked away..
I had someone change the color of something in photoshop. I then had to re shoot it. They retouched the file again. But didn’t change the wall color. Aparently I have to tell them each time, it’s not assumed since last time I had you change the color that this time it also has to change. I didn’t tell you to change it back.
Taxi drivers always ask the same questions. Where are you from, and who is more beautiful, Chinese girls or American girls.
I had a conversation about “working girls” with a taxi guy the other day. That was interesting.
If you do it my way it will save you and me hours. You may say it can’t be done but, I can do it in five minutes and it happens all the time in America.
Oh good times here. Got to love it. Sorry I’ve been busy lately. It’s been chaotic. I’ll try to remember these things as they come to me and post more soon.
October 8th, 2009 §
So it’s been somewhat of a crazy week. I decided that I wasn’t going to teach unless I needed to beg for money. I had an awesome Chinese holiday, and I actually got some work. Kinda crazy. I posted before about the holiday. My friends girlfriends cooked up a fever. It was amazing. I thank them very much. I also got some photography work. Shooting furniture. Not the most awesome of things to do but it pays pretty well. I am also doing some other things that, well, if I told you I would have to kill you. All I can say it that it involves a pitching wedge, ice, a donkey, and two beautiful women. I’ll post some photographs of the food later in thy post.
On to todays topic. Well I guess I don’t really have a topic. I also don’t have twitter so, I mainly just write down random ideas on my phone so that i remember to talk about them when I actually write some sort of blog. First thing I have on my phone is: Communism is rad. I wrote this down because at the time I though it would be a good t-shirt. Yep, still think so. Ok, next, fishing line, paper roll, tracing, box/Frame. Stuff I needed the other day. I suppose that this isn’t that interesting unless you just caught a fish that snapped you line and you wanted to trace it so that you could frame said tracing paper above the fireplace below the moose head. Next, can soda through a straw. I don’t get it. I was at the store purchasing a Pepsi, when after I paid, the cute girl stuck a straw under the pull tab. Not wanting to upset her I vowed to drink all of my cold soda through this straw. Again, drinking soda through a straw from a can makes no sense. Possibly the diameter of the straw was in direct conflict with the spherical diameter of the carbon dioxide being released from my taxi drivers swerving. Maybe, who knows. But for myself no more drinking can soda through a straw because of said problems.
Grilled cheese, home sweet home.
Today’s lunch. Ramon with some green veggies and two eggs.
Um, one more thing. Because I am white, in China, I am rich. Yep, that’s it, please everyone I just dropped the soap in prison, can you give me a hand. Everywhere you go, for the most part, in China you’ll have to barter. Cheap clothes, junk, taxi rides, etc. Let me give you an example. I took a taxi to the studio to shoot today and it cost me about 70 some rmb. Pretty much in the boon docks. But what are you going to do. I left the studio and tried to get a taxi. Again, it’s in the boonies. Finally found one after 10 minutes of skipping rocks on the street. I told him where I needed to go, he said 100. I was like what, dude, it was 70 this morning. Where is it at? You go this way then that way, etc. Ok 90. Um, peace out dude. Why, well, he probably thought that it might of been that much in taxi fare. Or he threw a nice round number out because I’m white.. Whatever. Anyway I found a guy that said 70 and didn’t run the meter. Awesome, that’s about right. Thanks bro peace..
Chopping and pounding meat can be exhausting.
Farmers doing farming.
Fish… By the looks of it, I think it’s dead.
Well put. Please don’t litter.
Cooking today’s lunch. Sanitary, well that’s up for debate. Free, yes.. Tomorrow morning, we’ll see.
The good stuff. Hot green beans. The little peppers are like a can of protester deterrent to the mouth.
August 20th, 2009 §
I often head over to a friends apartment to, well you know, chew the fat, and I often take a taxi back to my apartment. In doing so sometimes I have the taxi guy trying to talk to me. Most of the time I can’t understand. Yes it’s Chinese, but more so because these guys are gnarly old timers with a hell of an accent. Think, gnared up old western Texas grandpa on Valium speaking English. That’s close. But tonight I actually had a conversation. I think. I strolled up to the cab with my usual swagger, you know the kind you have from just being bad ass all the time, and hopped in. I told him the district I live in and the street. He said ok. Then he asked me what country I was from. I told him I was American with a black belt in whooping Chinese ass. Ok maybe whooping Chinese ass was a little too much. He then proceeded to say something about how many of something. Then it hit me, he was asking me how long I had been in China. I told him 5 years and I was really slow at learning Chinese. No really I said four months. He complimented my speaking abilities, I wanted to compliment him on his fine selection of dash ornaments but lacked the words to do so. We then passed the prostitution street. It must had been happy hour because there were cars lined up all over. He said the Chinese word for young lady. Yeah dude, I got eyes too you know. However some of these “young ladies” seem a little too lady like. I’m betting they’re young guys. But right, thats neither here nor there. I told him that they don’t have those in America. No not the young ladies but the “working young ladies.” He rattled off something really fast and I tried to ignore it. Really I didn’t understand a bit. That didn’t work, so I had to tell him that I only understood a little. I then tried my best with the help of my phone to tell him that in America prostitution is illegal. He said that’s wasn’t good. I told him I agreed. I think we had a moment. He then said that it is all over in China. I told him I know and that it was great. I then told him to take a right and a left. He then told me 10 bucks.
May 28th, 2009 §
Ok. I have to say sorry again. Last night I ended up watching the World Cup. Which inevitably meant I got up late today and haven’t had anytime to write till now. I know I promised more pictures as well. Hopefully tomorrow I can deliver.
I have been having to take a taxi to work lately. The whole 1 mile to work. Woo.. I know. But whatever it gives me something to write about. So here goes.
How to take a taxi in America.
1. Wave your hand like you are trying to swat a fly from mid air. Hope the guy stops.
2. Get in.
3. Tell the cabbie where you need to go.
4. Trust the cabbie.
5. If he goes the wrong way. Tell him what’s up. Yo wrong way bro…
6. Pay the fare. Usually means giving up an arm or a leg if you are in Vail and need to get to Edwards or Wildridge.
7. Get out.
8. Say a farewell. I like to use “peace,” but that’s just me.
9. Go on your merry way. Buy some Junior Mints, or perhaps a Slurpee.
Ok, now how to take a taxi in China.
1. Don’t wave you hand. There is already a taxi in front of you…
2. Admire the VW car.. and the cute little light on top.
3. Ask him if he can take you where you need to go. Myself, I need to know if he can go to Tai Yuan Bei Jia street.
4. Say it again… I can’t speak Chinese worth a bb gun shot to the chest. ”NO bro I don’t speak Chinese very well. I need to go to Jia Lun… Damnit..”
5. Get in anyway.. Repeat previous step. If all else fails show him a piece of paper that you wrote that crap down on… This one bro, this one….
6. When he says ok and pulls the meter sign thing down, put on seat belt. Hopefully it has one. If not, I recommend repeating Hail Marys as fast as you can.
7. Hope to God the Chinese guy in front is taking you where you need to go..
8. Drive on wrong side of road, check. Speed, check. Pull out in front of traffic, check. Pull out in front of a 30 ton bus, check. Split pedestrians, check. Honk horn, double triple check.
9. Oh S… He’s not going the way I need to go.. um.. Think fast.. Pull out book of useful phrases that you wrote down.. No right bro right.. yo yo yo yo..
10. Make grunting sound.. You will sound more Chinese.
11. When you have snaked enough people, possibly hit one or two, and have almost passed your destination, point and say here dude, here.. jar, jar, jar, dude, jar.. Remember to do this in Chinese though.. 99% don’t know English.
12. Give the dude money.. For my ride it’s a 1.25 or so, for a mile. The minimum. 8 yuan for 4km.. Not a bad deal.
13. Get your change.
14. Get out, make sure you have everything. A wallet full of fat stacks of cash would be a nice payday for someone.
15. Dodge a car mirror driving by. Maybe even a electric bike or a crowd of people.
16. Shut door and give international symbol for awesomeness. Peace….