Traffic Cops

Stick and I were in a taxi last night, when the taxi driver turned around and told us he knew we were British (This happens a LOT… we were actually on the way to a restaurant where the waitress through we were British. I’m going to hope it’s the good manners and not the bad teeth). When we told him, no, we’re Americans, he told us he knew about America.

“In America, if the policeman stops you, you have to — ” Here he put his hands on the back of his head, while driving, in a way that only Beijing cabbies can “– and if you move, they will — ” He made a gun with his non-horn hand. “Pow! Pow! And then game over! Dead!”

“That’s not American life. We’ve been stopped by police and we’ve never even seen the policeman’s gun,” Stick told him. “You have to pay a fine, and listen to a lecture, but no one shoots at you!”

“No, it’s true.” our driver said. “I heard it on the radio AND it was in the newspaper.”

I thought maybe he was referring to a specific case of a trigger-happy cop, but he insisted it was all American police, and if you move your hands when you’re pulled over? Then POW! Game over! This lasted until we got to the restaurant.

“I think America is too dangerous — Watch out!” he shouted, as Stick tried to open the sidewalk-side door, into an oncoming bicycle.

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0 Responses to Traffic Cops

  1. Happy Poster says:

    Doesn’t this tells you how well informed Chinese are, and how the free flow of information really helps the government ?

  2. Meg says:

    I’m pretty sure he’d heard a real news report about a real specific case, but I don’t know whether the cabbie or the reporter turned one event into the American constant.

  3. Bethie says:

    I guess we do the same for other countries too.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The last line makes this whole post.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The Chinese version of foreign “news” is always funny, but is usually based in a small bit of fact.

  6. Steve in Hangzhou says:

    Another great post, thanks!

  7. James says:

    Coming from Australia I would not go to the US for a holiday – it is too dangerous. Violent crime, homeless people, drug addicts and prostitutes everywhere, I’d rather (and do) go somewhere safe like China!

  8. Meg says:

    Yeah, but you Aussies have cane toads! That’s worth a few violent crimes!

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