Before we get into our trip to Shanghai, our first days at school, and our celebrity status here in China, I'd like to talk about driving in China:
I'm not sure if it is possible to completely describe what driving is like in China but I will do my best. Here are a few things I've picked up on while living here for only a little over a week:
1) Driving lanes are 100% optional. They are more like a suggestion, like when when your friends tells you about a movie you should see.
2) Cars would rather murder you than yield to pedestrians. What ever is heavier has the right of way in China.
3) When driving make sure you use your horn AS MUCH as possible. The horn signals two things: A) I'm in your blind spot. Please get into any lane. B) Please get out of the street or you will die (people)
4) When driving make sure you flash your brights as much as possible. Rather than tailgate a car like in America, the brights mean get out of the way!
5) You can literally park anywhere as long as you are in the car- just keep your engine on! Corners, bike lanes, bus stops, and on sidewalks (my favorite).
6) You can literally reverse on any road. If you happen to miss your freeway exit REVERSE! If you miss a turn JUST REVERSE! Why didn't Americans think of this?
7) Scooters usually drive in the large bike lanes that follow all roads in Suzhou and Shanghai. They sometimes do not feel like stopping at red lights so lane by lane they play frogger (See #2)
Summary: People drive like it is a video game. I'm not sure if the people here are terrible at driving or the greatest group of drivers on the planet. It takes skill to turn a 4 lane highway into 5 or 6 lanes. It takes skill to put a bus in reverse when the freeway stop is missed. It takes skill to park and leave your car on a busy street lane.