Most of you, well the majority, well some, well a few, have commented to us about the smog we had last week around here. It was something. Even our little Chinese teacher Kathy said she had never seen anything like it. And she, like Terry, is never driven to hyperbole. Anyway, here is a little story told to us by Geoff* (Ed. note: Principal’s name changed to protect the innocent), the principal of a school in Shanghai.
One of his secondary students, who at 5 would have been described as precocious, but now, likely is described in other ways, was riding in the car to school. On the radio, it was announced that schools would not be doing morning exercises (Ed. note: A daily occurrence in all schools) outside due to the smog alert. For whatever reason the school decided to go ahead with the exercises and directed all students outside. Our “hero” was not going to take this flagrant disregard for the law lightly. He immediately got his (Ed. note: likely forbidden) cell phone out and phoned the police to inform them that the principal of the Chinese school was breaking the law. The police immediately showed up at the school. (Ed. note: Now we know what the police in China actually do – they enforce smog alert adherence). Apparently this caused some embarrassment and difficulty but was all sorted out among the authorities. Then it was the informant’s turn to be dealt with. I don’t know the result, but after school the student went to see Geoff*:
- Student: “Did you hear what happened?”
- Geoff: “Yes, but tell your side”….
- Geoff: “I see. So did it work out for you?”
- Student: “No”
- Geoff: ” Did Mr Zhong*(Ed. note: Chinese principal, name changed) know you before?”
- Student: “No”
- Geoff: “Well, he knows you now!”
Today I was standing at the westbound bus stop along with a woman who was old enough to be my mother (90+). She waited patiently for about ten minutes and then the eastbound bus came by and she tried to flag it down. When it didn’t stop, she spat out a huge &*^% and off she went – heading east. I’m curious what she would have done if the westbound bus had shown up first.
We have mentioned the lack of stop signs in Jiaxing. As I was waiting for the bus (now remember, I am on a street important enough to have a bus line run down it) a large, fully loaded dump truck comes down the street. 50 yards from the corner, he lays on the horn but doesn’t bother to slow down. The cross street he is approaching is a four lane major arterial route. He roars through and a good three seconds later a bus goes through the intersection. I don’t know if the bus driver heard the horn and slowed down, but I doubt it – I think it was just dumb luck the truck driver didn’t kill a bunch of people.
This is my unplanned until just now segue into a posting a wrote a few days ago but hadn’t posted yet.
A little while ago, I wrote about our weekend in Shanghai and then left the office. Little did I know that the Jiaxing Traffic Safety Council had been hard at work. They had set up a display with about fifteen agents/officers who were busy handing out pamphlets to visitors. They had numerous poster boards on display showing how to make right and left turns etc. They also had this poster which shows that I AM RIGHT! Traffic must yield to pedestrians. (Ed. note: So there Terry!)
Interestingly, Terry and I were talking the other day about the scary concept of the big blue dump trucks, the heavy loads of mud they carry around, the state of their brakes and the overall safety of the vehicles. The concept of safety checks does not seem to exist. We are pretty sure these would not be allowed to travel from the Upper Levels down into West Vancouver.
The next few photos are very graphic. I am assuming that the Safety Council believes that showing these images will have some kind of impact on the drivers. Having said that, I am not sure that having these displayed from 10am to noon on a Monday morning at the mall is the best use of them. (Ed. Note: I have made some adjustments to them to make them less “compelling”.)
Well back to school – today is our first Open House. Should be interesting.
The Shoe Blog
It is hard to keep finding
- Cool yet different shoes/boots
- People willing to have their feet photographed by a foreigner
but we will persevere.
Terry and I saw these on Sunday afternoon. The two young girls giggled away the whole time while Terry was reassuring them that “It’s ok – he’s not a perv.” Thanks Terry.