GTA: Yantai

Driving in China is like playing Grand Theft Auto, only with more bicycles, pedicabs and carts full of watermelon. Now, I’m not exactly a great driver myself, but because privately owned cars are so new in China, most drivers have had their license for much less time than I have. Here, traffic lights are more of a suggestion than a rule. You can make a right on red, as well as a left on red, and even go striaght through on red if you want. If you miss your turn, you can just back up down the street. There isn’t really any right of way, and horns can be used to signal anything from “Look out for the cart full of watermelon!” to “Hey, there’s my second cousin!”

If driving in China is like GTA: Yantai, then crossing the street in China is like playing Frogger, if all the cars in Frogger slowed down to shout “Hello! Look, it’s a real frog! Hello!”

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0 Responses to GTA: Yantai

  1. The Humanaught says:

    Haha… I am TOTALLY working on creating a flash game of Frogger (with all the appropriate things changed or added to make it a little more China-esque) for my Lost Laowai site…

    First I need to learn Flash. 🙂

    PS: If anyone knows how to do this… lemme know.

  2. ?? says:

    Honking your horn in New Zealand is basically as good as a “F-Off!” and you will usually be rewarded with a one finger salute. In Yantai its more about saying “Hey everybody I’m here!”. Took some adjustment on my part.

    Kind of like the shops that think playing horrible Chinese techno at eardrum piercing volumes will attract customers. 🙂

  3. Stephen says:

    Yah, I’ve heard the drivers in China are crazy. A friend of mine actually got hit and killed by a truck while at a conference in China.

  4. Stuart says:

    I hope Rock Star Games is reading. GTA: Yantai just doesn’t have the right ring to it, though. It should be something like, GTA: Shanghai Streets or something. They could have pimps walk up to you and say things like, “Hey, you want to meet some of the Shanghai ladies?” Actually, in Shanghai the traffic probably isn’t quite as bad as other parts of China.

    Speaking of horns, though: one time in Guangzhou, I was in a taxi with my gf when the driver inexplicably laid on his horn for one long, no less than 60 seconds, burst of annoying sound. Of course, none of the other drivers noticed; they were all blasting their horns as merrily as could be too. No strange occurence in China really. I just remembered that particular incident because it was the longest horn blast I’d ever heard in my life.

  5. Meg says:

    wow I almost forgot about the crazy-loud-trance music to entice customers!

  6. Ruby says:

    I lived a few years in Cairo. Traffic is even worse there. Nobody slows down or stops at intersections, and the lights mean nothing at all. The best part is that a 2 lane street is actually 4 or 5. That and the mentally ill people wandering in traffic.

    Also the Egyptians go through horns in no time but never burn out headlights. They only turn them on for about 1/2 second if they hear another car approaching, either to warn them or blind them; I am not sure which.

    One thing I will say, the drivers do help each other. Those horns honking all the time do signal things besides irritation, and they do let people pass, and so on.

  7. says:

    this post is very funny!

  8. Pastey White Guy says:

    I don’t mean to bring the mood down or anything, but last year I lived very close to where you now teach and I saw a guy on a bicycle get hit by a trunk in the intersection by Desheng shopping mall and Bank of China. Very dead. I’ve also been in a taxi where we’ve hit a pedestrian… I thought for sure we killed the 60-yr old lady, but 10 minutes later she was walking home!

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