Day 252: Windshield

Day 252 Scooters are the lifeblood of Vietnam, here a passenger grips a plate-glass window while riding through downtown Saigon. What amazed me most about watching this dangerous stunt was that is was the second time that day I’d witnessed a large piece of glass being transported on a scooter.

Day 241: Chengguan

China’s “chengguan,” the para-police agency tasked with enforcing non-criminal urban administrative regulations, remove store fixtures blocking a sidewalk.

Shanghai’sm“chengguan,” the para-police agency tasked with enforcing non-criminal urban administrative regulations, remove store fixtures blocking a sidewalk.

This group of nine officers behaved more like a street gang, roughly pushing and shoving bikes and scooters, and other things out of their way as they swarmed down the street. The people just stepped out of the way, silently watching and not interfering. It was a display of the worst type of “policing” imaginable.

Day 240: Blue

A workman repairs a window on an old building in the Former French Concession.

A workman repairs a window on an old building in the Former French Concession.

times there is no reason for a picture other than I like it; the color, the symmetry, the mood, the moment. This is one of those pictures.

Day 233: Be Calm and Pedal On

Woman secures her load while waiting for red light to change.

Woman secures her load while waiting for red light to change.

What caught my eye was not so much the woman securing her load while traffic waited for the red light to change, but rather that traffic waited for the red light to change! This street corner, Pudian Road and Pucheng Road, just south of our compound, is notorious for traffic congestion; bikes, scooters, taxis, trucks and the occasional Bentley are mashing together in a chaotic ballet. She was the calm before the storm.

Day 228: Shanghai Mods

Three on a scooter is a common site in Shanghai.

Three on a scooter is a common site in Shanghai.

It seems as if everyone in Shanghai has an electric scooter and they ride them without any regard for what might be considered “rules of the road;” two person scooters often carry three, or more people (although they aren’t as overloaded as the scooters in Hanoi), nobody wears a helmet, they drive them against traffic, ride them on sidewalks, and don’t stop for traffic lights. And because they run silent you never hear them coming. In Shanghai, walk with your head on a swivel.

Day 226: Scooters

Scooters are a popular form of transportation in Shanghai.

Scooters are a popular form of transportation in Shanghai.

In a country where an automobile costs,on average, 2X what it costs in the USA and in a city where license plates sell for $12,000 USD (and up to 4X that on the “secondary” market),inexpensive electric scooters are the go to vehicle. These bikes cruise the city by the millions,ignoring most traffic laws: riding on sidewalks and driving against traffic the two that are most dangerous to pedestrians (look both ways before stepping off a curb, these things run silent and you can’t hear them approaching).