China: 5-year plan

How to navigate China as a pedestrian

Kai Ryssdal Jul 6, 2011

Kai Ryssdal: There are a couple things you ought to know before you go to China.

Imagine Time Square at rush hour, on Friday, of a three day weekend — everybody desperate to get where they’re going. Cabs, cars, busses and pedestrians be damned. Now, suspend all traffic laws. Red lights mean nothing. The stripes of pedestrian walkways are merely gunsights to let drivers get a better bead on you.

So how then to survive?

One, sometimes the right of way has to be taken. Drivers,bicyclists and people on scooters will never willingly yeild. So take your piece of pavement and own it. Repeat after me, they won’t hit me. They won’t hit me. They won’t hit me.

Two, along those lines never look a driver in the eye. Know where they’re going, know where you’re going and then go, but never let them see you stare.

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