Going Nowhere Fast

When I lived in London we used to complain about the traffic. You’d often hear someone complain they’d been stuck in traffic for an hour. In China of course, all the numbers are bigger – bigger GDP, bigger number of mobile phone users, bigger population, bigger number of cities and bigger traffic jams. In fact, some drivers on the Tibet to Beijing expressway have been stuck for 9 days, in a 100km jam, with no end in sight.

Imagine the telephone conversations : mum, I’m stuck in traffic, might be a few weeks late for dinner.

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11 Responses to Going Nowhere Fast

  1. T. says:

    In my day we used to get stuck in traffic so bad, we would have to leave the week before to get to school on time. Its also because it was uphill both ways in the snow.

  2. flutter-by says:

    It seems you don’t suffer from traffic jams in Shanghai. How do you commute everyday? On foot? Or you have chopper pad on the roof?

  3. Sue says:

    And I thought LA traffic was bad, this is something else!

  4. CP says:

    For those of us who live in Beijing, this road is more commonly known as the Badaling Expressway, scene of horrendous tailbacks every summer weekend as thousands of bad drivers try to get out to the Great Wall.

    It continues on to Zhengjiakou, a section which had a month-long tailback a few years ago, so this is nothing in comparison. The jams are generally caused by thousands of overloaded trucks which get stopped for checks, creating huge backlogs. I experienced some of this myself last month, but luckily only for 2-3 hours (see http://tinyurl.com/3xo9g2g).

    Calling it the Tibet to Beijing Expressway is a bit optimistic. They’ve just put up signs for Lhasa outside Beijing (see first pic in above link) but I don’t think the road is going to reach the Himalayas for a while yet. But this is China and I could be wrong.

  5. wisemanofasia says:

    Yes since getting back to England I have annoyed everyone with constant reminders that they have no idea what hardship is until they have experience some of the things the chinese have to put up with, traffic being one of these! I haven\’t witnessed a traffic jam / situation that has even made me blink since coming back!

  6. chrisB says:

    The BBC news website is running this and asking for comments from those stuck in the jam to be emailed to them. I’m going to email them posing as a peasant truck driver reading the BBC News site on his iPad. As long as it’s politically correct they’ll print it.

  7. CP says:

    @chrisB: Great idea! I’ll try and beat you to it as a local villager using the GPS function on his grey market iPhone4 to input accurately the start and end locations of the hold-up so it can be fed into the national highway delays website.

  8. swiss james says:

    Where do they pee?

  9. WoAi says:

    @T – Uphill both ways?

    @Flutter-by – I usually take a taxi to work and walk back. I only take the chopper if I’m really running late!

    @Sue – Yes, so no more complaints from you please.

    @CP – Yes, I’d almost forgotten how bad the Beijing traffic was. One thing puzzles me, how can Badaling (north) be the same direction as Tibet (south west).

    @ChrisB – Excellent, go for it then post us the link!

    @James – More importantly after 9 days, where to they poo!

  10. T. says:

    @WoAi – In the snow!

  11. swiss james says:

    Oh I only poo once a month, so I didn’t think about that.

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