Web Traffic and Street Traffic

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On my short list of “Chinese things I won’t miss”, the Internet is at the top. Many websites are blocked, including Facebook, Twitter (this is why I missed some answers to the “guess where we are going” contest, sorry!), YouTube, every Google service, etc. We connected to the Wi-Fi wherever we could (I brought my laptop) but in Shenyang, we don’t have Internet access at the apartment, so we have to use 网吧 (Internet cafés).

There are many Internet cafés around the train station, mostly for gamers. However, in order to use them, you must show a Chinese ID that is swiped to gain access. Our foreign passports won’t work, not to mention that I don’t exactly want my passport to be swiped in some random place.

We eventually found an Internet café that allows us to use their computers but they are slow and again, we can’t access most of the websites we need.

And on the topic of traffic, I certainly won’t miss the fine art of crossing the road or simply walking on the sidewalk.

Most roads, avenues or streets are fairly wide. In some cities, there are overpasses or underpasses. In Shenyang, you have to pray and run. Technically, there are traffic lights but few drivers respect them. “Green” doesn’t mean “go”; it means “look around and if there are enough pedestrians crossing with you, and if so, the traffic may stop for a second or two for the small determinate and suicidal army”.

When they see a pedestrian, cars don’t slow down; they simply honk and expect you to move out of the way. Motorbikes driving on the sidewalk do the same. And you can’t just go by standard traffic rules, as there could be cars or bikes coming from the opposite direction on a one way street.

Police regulates the traffic at a few selected intersections. There is usually one poor soul dancing in the middle, stuck between buses, cars, motorbikes and other vehicles.

Surprisingly, I haven’t seen many accidents (unlike in Thailand, for instance). There are fender-benders and you can hear people arguing about who was right or wrong from metres away but speed isn’t really an issue, at least in the city.

Gamers

Gamers

In the Bus

In the Bus

Train Station

Train Station

Taiyan Jie at Night

Taiyan Jie at Night

Subway

Subway

Bus

Bus

Traffic

Traffic

Traffic

Traffic

Traffic Cop

Traffic Cop

Traffic Cop

Traffic Cop

Motorbikes

Motorbikes

Taxi vs. Bus

Taxi vs. Bus

Traffic Sign

Traffic Sign

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

3 Comments

  1. My friend just went to China for the summer – I have started writing about it on the blog and I would absolutely love to go! She said that she wasn’t allowed to use facebook in most parts of China. I am not sure if I could cope with dogs and cats being sold for food in the markets though :/

  2. Just chiming in here to say how much I am loving this series on China, and your travel writing in general. It’s the little things – I would never think to notice the small things like traffic that give a place its flavour. Your pictures make me feel like I’m actually there, experiencing it myself, because of all the great details and oh-so-true observations you make. You would be an amazing travel guide writer – not a cold listing of hotels and places to visit, but a warm description of what a place is really LIKE.

    Also: why is the train station building so tall? Are there offices in there, or train related business? How much train related business can there be? 🙂

    • The train station is massive (and that’s just one of them, there are two just for Shenyang!) because train is a very popular mode of transportation in China. The first floor is arrivals, the second one is departures. Inside, it’s a huge hall with many door for waiting rooms and the gates.

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