fun with traffic

June 18th, 2007

On the way up to Yanqing on Saturday, after we’d crossed the mountains, passed Xibozi, and were on the basin floor on the way into the county town, the bus suddenly decided to go up the cycle lane on the left hand side of the road. We couldn’t figure it out, there was no obvious reason for this. I mean, the lane we should’ve been in wasn’t closed, there was no traffic to speak of….

….and then we saw why. Hundreds of trucks lined up waiting. I guess the Yanqing Zhen weigh station had decided to do a crack down. I remember a couple of years ago another weigh station on State Highway 110 in Yanqing had done the same thing and many trucks had to wait three days to get through the check.

And on the way back the truck jam had reached all the way back from the county town to Badaling.

And it’s a good thing, too. These trucks need to be cracked down on. Hard. They may drive incredibly slowly over the mountains, but they seem to think the section of State Highway 110 that runs through Yanqing is their own, personal race track. They can be a real menace. lzh’s village is right on the highway, so you know getting their and back can be exciting, especially when we’ve had to take a miandi- which is at least half the time.

But there was more excitement. On the way in to the county town on Saturday, before we  saw the rapidly building truck jam, we came across an accident scene. A police four wheel drive had it’s right rear end smashed in, and it’s right rear wheel was lying on the road. A tall and very young looking Western lad was busy miming what had happened to two cops- presumably one of whom had been driving the now very broken four wheel drive. The other car- a small sedan with diplomatic plates- was a bit further up the road with its front smashed in.  Aha. So some young diplomatic type, perhaps a diplomat’s son, judging by how young he looked, had chosen the perfect car to smash into. You don’t have to wait for the police to come when it’s a police vehicle you smash into.

But I guess the start of the trip should’ve tipped us off that this time it wasn’t going to be the usual, boring cruise into the county town. The ticket seller did her usual bullshit chasing me down the bus insisting that this bus wasn’t stopping at Badaling. Both lzh and I yelled out loudly enough for everybody to hear that we knew and had already told her. And then in the seat opposite us some middle-aged Chinese guy asked if the bus was going to somewhere…. weird. Nobody recognised the place he was asking about. Then he said Changping. And then he and his friends were chased off the bus. So hopefully that will be a lesson to the idiot bloody ticket sellers- stop fussing about us foreigners getting on buses that don’t go to Badaling and just make sure that everybody, including those who look Chinese, is on the right bus. Oh, and as she walked past me having chased that guy and his mates off, the ticket seller said, “有的人å??错。” (Some people take the wrong bus). Yep, but somehow they never look like me.

Anyway, so I got a good laugh out of the trip.

So now we’re back in the city. It’s hot and sticky. Some time in the next two weeks we’ll move down to BeiGongDa. I have, so far as I know, another trip to Yizhuang this evening to look forward to. But you know, I’d much rather be up in Yanqing. I feel relaxed up there in a way I’ve never felt in the city.  It’s not just that the temperature is cooler, the air and water cleaner, the people infinitely friendlier and more hospitable…. I dunno, if I could…..

2 Responses to “fun with traffic”

  1. John Says:

    How long before the equation runs:

    Some foreigner goes to Yanqing.
    Ergo, all foreigners go to Yanqing.

    You can wait at the bus stop and take them on tours for Â¥200 a head, not including lunch. I can just imagine the banner in Chinese (which says “Historic Yanqing”) and English (which says “Hysterically Yanqing”; authentic Chinglish). The tour includes a visit to a lookout point. (“From here you could see the Great Wall, but that hill gets in the way.”) Eventually, you’ll have to set up a theme park, but that’s for the future.

  2. wangbo Says:

    Well, it’s a good idea, but I prefer to stay away from tourists.

    Thing I don’t understand is why the equation is not: There are many, many tourist attractions scattered throughout Yanqing, ergo there are many reasons why a foreigner would take the bus to the county town. But what do I know? I’m just a dumb foreigner.