If you are looking for a helpful guide to actually drive in China,
this…is not the place.
Buckle up, sweetheart. It’s time for a wild ride.
There’s no doubt that driving in China is almost like the Hunger Games — every driver is a ruthless tribute, fighting for survival. But instead of wasting their time with over-dramatized love triangles, these tributes are all business, and become even more unpredictable the farther you get from the Capital.
So, in order to ensure you don’t go the way of Finnick O’Dair (oops, spoiler alert), Shameless is here to teach you how to play the game. May the odds be ever in your favor.
Rule #1: Never Stop for Pedestrians
In China, giving pedestrians the right of way is a laughable concept. If a pedestrian makes his or her way in front of your vehicle, it is time to engage. It doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with kids, pregnant ladies, or even senior citizens in wheel chairs – they are now your enemy. Why? Because time is money. Pedestrians are only here to slow you up, drag you down, interrupt your schedule, and keep you from your destination. So don’t stop and admit defeat. Instead, do what every skilled driver does: drive around them, honk at them, and if that doesn’t work, roll down your window to unleash a chorus of obscenities (bonus points for spitting).
Rule #2: Sound That Horn
The horn on your car is not for decoration. It is a weapon that must be used whenever necessary. And by “whenever necessary”, I mean, all the f*cking time.
Honk at harmless pedestrians. Honk at buses blocking your way. And honk at the random guy with 10,000 pieces of cardboard stacked on his tricycle when he swerves into your lane. Also honk when someone tries to overtake you, when you try to overtake them, and when someone three cars ahead overtakes the person in front of them. And most importantly, be sure to sound your horn nonstop for 88 seconds whenever there’s a traffic jam or when you arrive at a slow intersection. It’s scientifically proven to make the light change more quickly.
Rule #3: Yellow Light? Looks Green to Me.
Life is a race and drivers who slow down at yellow lights are destined to finish last. Do you want to be a loser? No, I didn’t think so. So, the next time you see a yellow light, hit the gas pedal and gun it through the intersection.
Now, I know what you’re thinking – what happens if I don’t make it before the light turns red? Don’t worry, just slam the brakes and skid to a super dramatic stop. After all, who cares if the car behind you crashes into yours, or takes out 23 innocent tourists while trying to avoid a collision? It’s totally not your fault!
Rule #4: Change Lanes Often – and Unexpectedly
When it comes to changing lanes in China, the key is to keep other drivers on their toes. That means turning the wheel sharply, hitting the gas, and giving your turn signal the finger. And when you’re not sure how to pass someone, just ask yourself a simple question – What would that Beijing cab driver do?
(Hint: The answer may or may not involve laying on the horn, banking hard into the left turning lane for two seconds, and forcing that rule-abiding lame-ass in the oncoming Volvo to swerve to the side. It might also involve cursing at him like it’s his fault. Because it is.)
Rule #5: Fight for Parking
While following the tips above will ensure successful driving, you need to learn how to park too, especially if you live in one of China’s bigger cities.
Most of the time, “parking” involves blocking someone else and leaving a pseudo-apologetic note promising to return in 5 minutes. But if you’re lucky enough to see an actual, open parking spot, you better man up and fight for it. Just drive to the spot as fast as you can before some asshole steals it, even if it means giving the departing occupant less than a centimeter of room to maneuver. And if you still haven’t convinced rival drivers of your dominance, exit your vehicle, whip it out (or squat down), and take a piss on the desired parking spot (and the departing car). By this point, I guarantee NO ONE will mess with you, and you can take your place as king of the concrete jungle.
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