Shanghai blogger Wang Jian Shuo has a funny/interesting post about some bad driving habits he picked up on a recent business trip to San Jose … like stopping at stop signs and yielding to pedestrians. Here is his description of a recent encounter he had with two pedestrians back in Shanghai:
… I saw two girls going to cross before me.
My habit learnt from last month worked. I stopped — full stopped and waited them to go before me. They stood there, and waited for me.
10 seconds later, I waved my hand and let them go. They just don’t go and looked at me in a strange way. I insisted to let them go first. Later, they went on. 10 meters away, they still look back at my car. Obviously they wanted to know what is wrong with my car.
It is great waste of time. I was lucky that there was no car behind me. Otherwise, I will create another angry driver there.
Conclusion: Don’t try to yield for pedestrian, because pedestrians are not used to go before a started engine yet.
In a previous conversation with Wang, Shanghaiist learned that the rule book for Shanghai drivers actually says they are supposed to stop for pedestrians … but rules are made to be ignored.
(We are currently on holiday in rural Pennsylvania — after a stay in rural Georgia — and are experiencing this phenomenon in reverse. Despite being in the very definition of “NASCAR country,” drivers are going out of their way to stop for us as we try to cross the street here. And we are the ones looking back in a “strange way.”)