The Ride

PRIMITIVE - Thursday, July 30, 2009

On the way back our accommodating driver misunderstood his role and while carrying on a conversation with Cherry began giving us Mandarin lessons. The inevitable result of his being a conversationalist, teacher and driver at the same time was he began to slow down and meander. But we were in a rush. This time, time was really running out. We began chanting, “Faster, faster!” He looked confused until Glen yelled, “Kuai, kuai!” He got the message and instantly our frustration turned to fear. He started blowing red lights and making illegal turns. We found ourselves in a passing sandwich as cars and buses zoomed by on both sides. At one point we were heading straight for the curb. I was certain we were on our way to our doom, but all I could do was laugh until hot tears rolled down my cheeks. Claudia squeezed my leg. “Welcome to China,” she said. I knew precisely what she meant, then I remembered I would be leaving tomorrow.