Day 93 in Beijing: Four Friends.

Four Friends Laughing with the foreigner.

Four Friends laughing together with the foreigner.

More foolishness and tomfoolery on the subways.

As I walked onto the subway, these four friends ended up standing beside me in the car.

They were laughing, joking and having a wonderful time.

A few times, the girl in the flowery shirt spoke English and mimicked the English voice that was stating what station we were about to arrive at and our current location.

She kept peeking at me and so did her friends.

Whenever she spoke English, I threw her the “thumbs-up” sign and smiled and laughed.

After a few stops, she and her friends decided to sit down.

As you can see, there were only 2 spaces available.

So they did what any young, happy, and goofy group of kids would do: They sat on each others’ laps and started laughing about it.

I decided to take a picture and they seemed to think that was even more hilarious.

Something I’ve noticed about China, and I also noticed this when I lived in Japan, is a sense of security and safety that seems to permeate the people.

The teens here seem to be much hopeful regarding their life and much more trusting towards others.  The general feeling of fear and anxiety of “the other” doesn’t seem to be as prevalent here, at least in Beijing, as it does in other places I’ve lived.

It is something that I love, and reminds me to be more trusting, open, and less anxious about how life.  Another lesson in acceptance.

Day 7 in Beijing: Red Light Running Right Turns.

Make sure to pay attention as you cross.  These cars are easy to miss and can hurt you!

Make sure to pay attention as you cross. These cars are easy to miss and can hurt you!

Traffic.  In Beijing.  A whole different world.

So, the basics.  In California, and most of the United States of America, a pedestrian has the right of way.  That means a car will stop and let the person walk across the street.  Yes, especially in San Francisco, there are exceptions but it is the rule and the law.

Not so much in Beijing.  I actually love the traffic in Beijing because it almost seems like a river with a school of fish trying to merge and swim through constant confusion.  It is a bit like a dance or art.

That being said, here is a little bit of knowledge for the first time one attempts to cross a street:  The cars making a right hand turn, on a red light, do not stop.  The cars have the right of way and pedestrians have to look out for them and wait.  Therefore, there can be a lot of people just standing in the last half to a third of the cross walk even though the sign says “walk.”  For this reason, I’ m not wearing any headphones or using my cell while walking at this point.  Once I get more used to it and am comfortable with this I probably will wear headphones but it is amazing how fast, and small, so many of these cars are, not to mention how many scooters and bikes there are, and how easy it is to miss them as they come flying around the corner.

Just like in life, walk slowly, take your time, enjoy where you are, breathe, and pay attention.  Actually, that is just good advice on life in general.