Saturday, March 17, 2007

Unoffical Traffic Rules

Upon your arrival in Macau, you may like to know about some unofficial traffic rules:

1) Never wear seatbelts.

Of course, you can try to do that, but the taxi drivers may insist otherwise.

2) Cross the zebra crossing with impunity

Most cars will not give you the right of way. You must boldly step into the road before they consider stopping for you. But do NOT try this in China: the cars may NOT slow down or stop even if you cross right in front of them.

3) Cross the red traffic light with impunity

The pedestrians get their revenge when they cross the red light with impunity just like the zebra crossing.

4) Park your car all over the place

You can park almost anywhere you like, though you may get fined if it is in the daytime.

There is a joke that if there is any space on or near a road, it will be filled by cars. Sidewalks and bus stops are not exempted. The only trick the drivers have yet to figure out is how to park their car on top of another car.

Where I used to stay, drivers may park their car around other cars in order to get a quick drink at the pub. Incidentally, this also traps the victims' cars in the parking space. When the victims return, they start blasting their car horns with vengeance until the obstructing car is gone, even when it is 3am at night. The blasting may be interrupted by the sound of objects crashing onto the ground, ejected by irritated residents trying to sleep. They will make them stop for a few minutes before they start blasting away again.

5) Drive on top of the lane separators

In Macau and Hong Kong, vehicles drive on the left side of the road. In China, they drive on the right. This confusion may explain why the Chinese truck drivers, newly arrived from the border, tend to drive on top of the lane separators.

----- Bonus -----

6) In China, you communicate by blasting your horn. It is common to hear this every fraction of a second.

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