04
Jul
10

在后门 At the Back Gate

Look!

This is a video of what crossing the street at the gate behind the school is like.

It’s really shaky and sort of short but I think it does a good job of illustrating how busy the back gate can be. Pretty much everyday I make the walk across this street to go to restaurants, find some shops, get some 奶茶 (bubble tea) or just wander around the city with friends. It’s a really busy place with plenty of bikes, cars, mopeds, and public busses congesting the road. However, it is generally a pretty safe place to be as you only need wait for the pedestrian crossing sign to turn green and then make your way with the inevitable swarm of people.

Please take note of the man in orange with the bicycle and cart forcing pedestrians to part as he makes his way across the road. Usually there are more bikes and mopeds forcing people to jump to the side. And as I learned early on (always yield to vehicles). As some Chinese roommates explained, if you get hit by a car it is your own fault because you were stupid enough to be in its way. While I haven’t seen any actual collisions between people and or vehicles, I have seen plenty of yelling and horn honking which at first was a little jarring but is now helpful so that I can approximate the location of any incoming threats. Hangzhou’s streets are crowded busy places and do not resemble anything in America (where there is usually more order and less random chaos).

However, Hangzhou has an interesting law that has made a few road crossing experiences a little bit harrowing. All public busses must stop for people in crosswalks while all other vehicles don’t (and will not) stop for you. Therefore, I have found myself rushing out in front of a bus (which stops) in order to beat the constantly accelerating taxi in the other lane (which won’t stop). However, usually its the Chinese students who lead the way as I have little previous experience jumping in front of busses and have almost a slight disbelief in the law when other vehicles are so overly agressive.

Crossing this road to get a simple snack from a cart in the back lane can sometimes be an ordeal. But as long as you keep you head up and wait for the right time to cross, you will be fine.

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1 Response to “在后门 At the Back Gate”


  1. 1 Amber Dostie
    July 12, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    I love this road crossing story. Remember in Rome when the cars drove on the sidewalks… that is what it reminds me of, with, I am sure many more people involved! Be careful!!!!


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