Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Comments, Links

I leave this comment on TalkTalkChina:

Someone hasn't learned the 你下车吗 technique.

I'll be a dissenting voice and say that I love taking the bus. I love swiping my card by the reader as I watch other, less frequent riders digging in their pockets for change while the bus veers wildly and leaves them grasping for a hold of the rail. I love the sense of accomplishment that comes from knowing your way around the city on the dozens, if not hundreds of bus lines that run the streets. I love riding the late-night 300-series buses for the cast of characters that pile in and either fall asleep or watch vigilantly for their stop. And I love the sense of false comraderie that I feel when I see another foreign face riding the bus, knowing that both of us have put in the time and effort to recognize the hundreds of characters that it takes to decipher the bus stop signs. Especially now that the Shanghai metro has raised ticket prices, I have even more of an incentive to use the bus; it's great. I guess I just like the pros more than I dislike the above-mentioned cons.

But then, riding the bus does have its own rules of etiquette, so I'm not surprised that someone who rides it only "when the summer heat becomes unbearable" finds that it's like, hey, visiting a foreign country!

I'm not saying that everybody should like riding the bus. I'm just trying to give some reasons why a person who has never ridden it might consider it as an option.

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