When you are driving a car in Beijing you are the King of the Road. Literally. You can do anything you can get away with (not in the legal sense but in the “life or death” sense). There are stop lights at some intersections but who cares! There are one way streets but side walks and bike lanes can easily turn them into “two way” streets. It all depends on the nerve of your taxi driver and your ability to control your own fear (read screaming “we all going to die”).
What makes a good taxi driver is the same process that makes a good bargain. They negotiate with everyother obstacle on the road. It is a process that starts with the meter and ends when the meter stops or the negotiation fails (read hospital stay). The taxis, buses, cars, bikes, and pedestrians move along in a “controlled alvalanche“. It is almost beautiful in its own way. They move and sway all together, hundreds of negotiatings going on all around you as the alvalanche moves forward. Sometimes I get carried away in the process. Then you have a dissonate note. A failed negotiation. Then you realize that this is business, nothing personal, just get me where I want to go “alive”. To do this justice, I need to video a ride and send it along.
Zai Jian (Zi Chin) or Good-bye.