One month into my new life as an Expat in Shanghai, China and I’m beginning to notice some patterns to life in China. Firstly, It is important that I remind myself that I’m not in Kansas anymore.

China Rules

  1. Nothing gets done without a passport.*
  2. Nothing is simple in China.
  3. Electric scooters, Vespas, and bicycles adhere to no traffic rules. None. Zero, zip, nada.
  4. Pedestrians are the lowest rung on the food chain.
  5. Left turn yields to traffic is a concept that has not made its way to China.
  6. There are Three Two Chinas:
    • China of the main streets
    • China of the side streets
    • China of the alleys  (Strong similarities with the previous so I’m combining them)
  7. Having a good driver is invaluable.
  8. *No rules are absolute
  9. The saying, “Rules are made to be broken” was invented in China.

I will expound on these in future posts.

2 thoughts on “Hey,Toto!

  1. So, for cross-town distances, is there usable mass transit, or are you relying on a driver or a scooter? What are the nuisance logistics that go with either of those options, for that matter (where to store/park the vespa, lead time needed to arrange a driver).

    How reasonable are those options, if someone wants to visit Shanghai for a short time?

    • d2, there is an incredibly good Metro (I’ve used) and an extensive bus system (I’ve not). That said, I have had a driver since I touched down at PVG.Unfortunately, he goes away in two weeks (or gets picked up at our expense). However, I have a Metro card that works on the subway and in taxis (which are amazingly cheap). I am also shopping for a bicycle which I hope to make my primary form of transportation. Riding a bicycle, e-bike, or scooter is popular and a bit suicidal, people obey no traffic laws, Parking is on the sidewalk and a lock is a necessity if you want your bike or scooter there when you return. Our driver has been arranged for us by the company, so I don’t know about lead time and such, but it is possible to arrange for short-term drivers. If you’re coming over here, I could reach out and get more information.

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