April 06, 2010

ARNABanged: Hitting the Road

They say that Chinese people do not know how to drive. It's not true. At least one does. He drove right into me.

I was standing in the middle of a crosswalk in front of Beijing's Workers Stadium, waiting for oncoming traffic in one direction to stop flowing so I could get to the other side. The locals have as much respect for pedestrian crossings as they do for intellectual property rights, so the crosswalk marking on the road does not mean anything. I looked back to see a red car coming directly at me from behind. A split second later I was in flight, my body performing a grotesque pirouette before making contact with the pavement.

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I scraped myself off the surface of the road, glaring at my attacker as I got up. He had gotten out of his car and was sheepishly looking at me. His mother popped out of the passenger side holding a fluffy pet dog. Suddenly, the driver ran past me into the middle of the street. My phone had taken a slightly different trajectory than I, and was moments away from being crushed. He grabbed my cellphone, narrowly escaping another violent collision with an oncoming vehicle himself. He handed me my phone and I got in his car and drove off, dialing my friends for assistance.


“If you wish to avoid foreign collision, you had better abandon the ocean.”
~ Henry Clay ~