An Army of High Speed Somnambulists

The other day I posted Driving in Vietnam, an article with photos about riding between towns in Vietnam that included a five minute GoPro video of a drive around Saigon on the back of a scooter-for-hire.

Entirely different, but related: In this article, Veronique Greenwood, who lives on a university campus in Beijing, explains that

“In New York, the key to road safety is predictability. Make eye contact with drivers, so they can see your intentions. Use hand signals when you want to turn. Avoid sudden, erratic movements—if drivers can see where you’re going, they’ll be less likely to hit you. The first time I use a hand signal in China, angling my arm leftward to show a truck driver I am about to turn in front of him, he looks to see what I’m pointing at, while accelerating. Every time I make eye contact, other cyclists and drivers barrel right on through, instead of letting me pass in front of them. Eventually I adapt to a new reality, learn the new rules, and I discover that they are as simple in China as in the United States. Actually, there’s only one rule: Ignore everyone.””

It’s a great read. It’s psychology. It’s a cultural thing. It’s practical driving in China advice. It’s about living in China. Do read.

Archival Chinese Video on Twitter

Suggestion for a fun Twitter follow:

Tong Bingxue 仝冰雪
@tongbingxue

Here’s how he describes himself: Collector & Historian of earlier image of China. Author of History of Photo Studios in China. All tweeted are my own collection unless stated otherwise.

Here is an example:

Chinese World Dominance, in Photos

There is an outstanding photo feature about the commercial monster China is building itself into with its OBOR “Belt and Road Initiativehere, at The New Yorker’s website just now. This photo is a screen grab from the article. You get a few free articles a month without being a subscriber, so you can check it out.

What to Read if You’re Shaky on the Hong Kong Protests

If you’re vaguely aware that polite young people have been on the streets of Hong Kong but it’s kind of hard to keep up with events on the other side of the world (and with a big BOO to the local paper‘s strict paywall), read this one article to bring you up to speed at a potentially defining moment in the protests:

TV Face-Off Dramatizes Gulf Between Hong Kong Protesters and Officials

Here’s a quote:

Nick Lee, 24, a cook living in the blue-collar district of Mong Kok, where some of the worst clashes have taken place, said: “[Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying] thinks he cannot give more power to the people, but I should have the power, not him.”

Xi Jinping and his mandarins in Zhongnanhai know all too well that Nick Lee has exactly such power. They must lie awake at night conjuring ever newer ways to keep that precise knowledge from their greater mainland public.