Which Lane is Which Way?

Someone New To China: “Hi, I was wondering which lane is for which direction’s traffic?”
Driver in China: “Yes, and the sidewalk too.”

Advertisements

Going to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo…

    We had a great day at the zoo in Songkhla, Thailand. I met up with some of my cousins, and we hung out for a while.      Then I got into a fight with a rhino, and won. It … Continue reading

Red Lights, Hot Tempers

Yesterday I was driving to school, and the light at the last intersection before the school was red, fully red. It had not just changed, it was long changed, and timer indicated it was halfway through. The green light for going straight across the intersection was in full bloom.

The law would state that traffic lights control all traffic through the intersection, whether foot, bike, car, or other. The practice is (largely), “I’m not in a car, so I don’t follow the traffic signals.”

Noroads-HQ-1

An oldish man on an electric bike flew across the stop line and into the intersection. His head did not glance left, right, or any other direction. I saw it coming from a mile away, “Bango!” He hit the passenger side door on little silver car. The bike tumbled over, and so did the man. The door had a huge dent in it, and the silver paint was scratched off to expose a metre stick worth of metallic door.

The man quickly jumped to his feet, with his bike still on the road. He was unambiguously the cause of the accident. This little matter of fact did little to deter his fire. He started raging across the young woman in the passenger seat, at the young man in the driver’s seat. The young man got out to help with the bike, and see the damage. The old man was yelling at him, things I picture to be, “Watch what you are doing you idiot. I am old, you should have waited for me first.” The young man started gesturing at the door panel, I am assuming the words were similar to, “Who is going to fix this mess?”

After a couple more gestures, and loud words exchanged, the old man shooed the young guy away, got on his bike, and drove away. The young man, possibly shocked, slowly walked around his car, and got back in to drive away. By this time, I was through the intersection on my green light, ready for another day.

 

Took a Tumble

Today I took a bit of a tumble on my way to school. I was driving along on my e-bike, and I had a green light. There were 5 seconds left of green, which would then be followed by 3 seconds of yellow. I was good to go, because I was right on top of the stop line at this point. As soon as I crossed the stop line, a bonehead in a 3 wheel e-bike just pulled off the sidewalk directly in front of me, and started going across the crosswalk.

I have two choices, I can:

A. Hit her, but it’s gonna hurt
B. Hit the breaks hard, because she is right there, and probably drop the bike because they aren’t made to stop on a dime at 30kph.

I decided the brakes were the way to go. Sure enough, down the bike went. My elbow connected with the pavement, and then my knee. I heard the bike crash as it hit. My head was well clear of the ground though. My very first thought, “Crap, my jeans are torn now. I can’t afford to lose clothes here, they are too hard to get.” I looked at my knee, no hole in the jeans. Maybe they are ok. Then I was looking up from the pavement at my bike’s mirror. I looked at the woman driving away in her little 3 wheel box. She looked back at me on the ground, gave her shoulders what looked like a shrug, and kept on driving.

Now, everyone is staring at me like I am a side show or something, and something is going to happen. I know people don’t always help someone who has fallen on an e-bike, but most of the time there is 1 person, or 2 who will help. Not with me, just stare. So, I picked myself up (keep in mind this is less than 30 second period, not the eternity it felt like), and brought my bike to the side of the road to see if I, or it was too damaged to drive. We were fine, except for a piece of cracked plastic I found when I got to school. The plastic of course was on the bike, not myself.

By this time the cop who was on the opposite corner from me (diagonal) had almost reached me. I just gave him a wave to say, I’m not dead, I don’t need help now, thank you, but no thanks.

When I got to school, my girlfriend was a little more concerned with my state than she was with the state of the bike, or my pants… especially my pants. I assured her I was fine, which was met with caring scepticism.  It’s good to know she cares. 🙂

I am reminded of my driving rule (regardless of where I am driving). Between 80, and 90% of the drivers on the road are not going to do anything super stupid. The other 10% will run the gambit from, “What are you doing,” to, “Did you eat paint chips as a child, cause you are a moron.” Because of these 10%, always drive like everyone has the possibility of doing something moronic. I met someone doing their moronic thing today.

All this to say, I am fine. I am annoyed, but I am happy my pants are not torn. I have a spot of road rash less than the size of a dime on my arm, and I am not going to worry about it. This could have happened anywhere in the world, it just happened here this time.