Guilty Conscious

I was skating again today. Do that quite frequently recently 😉 And I ran over a red traffic light. So what? That’s China here… I skate around the Century Park as usual, clock-wise, so to my right-hand side there is always the park, no street coming from there. All traffic lights are due to streets coming from the left, no obstacle for me, nobody stops if there’s no street to your right. So what? There was a police car next to the traffic light. So what? Police cars are exactly those cars running over a red traffic light second-most frequently. (Most frequently do that these always blue huge construction or container trucks, no matter if police around or not.) The officers were watching the intersection. So what? They sometimes do that…also need to earn money. There were other bikes (cycles, e-cycles, motor bikes) on the bike lane where I use to skate. So what? There’s always traffic. They all had stopped.


Why the hell do all these bikes stop at a red traffic light at an intersection, which has no street on the right-hand side but only the closed park entrance? Why do they stop for no good reason??? Just because a red lamp in a traffic light is burning? I mean…where are we? Germany? UK? Come on guys…you are hindering the traffic, I’ve just been so nicely fast…I squeezed my way through the bikes, which had lined up at the white line and past the intersection. The officer, who had just turned his back to the streets heard something and from the winkle of my eye I could see, actually more: sense him turning around speedily on his heals. I did not give him the pleasure of looking at him or even stopping…I just kept going.

The entire next round around the park (hm…that is probably 15-20 minutes) I developed a very bad guilty conscious: Likely all these other bikes had stopped because the officer had looked furiously at the first bike to stop at red and the others had followed suite. I had squeezed through on my skates, the officer couldn’t get me…what would happen when I pass by this traffic light once more? Would he stop me? Try to argue with me in Chinese? (haha, that thought had quite some funny elements) Had I any other chance? Yes…I could just turn right now and go back home. Come on…you aren’t a coward, are you? But then…do you want to spend some minutes, hours, or even a night with the Chinese police? No, there are better attraction around. Maybe he would just be too surprised seeing me again and would not be able to act in a timely fashion…maybe… I just passed by my street to home, didn’t turn, so I’m still on my round around the clock…no way out: I have to pass by this police-guarded traffic light again.

To cut a long story short: I did chicken out a bit: I made sure by timely controlled speed adjustments that I would reach the intersection when the traffic light is green. The first time it worked out great, I passed at full green. But I swear: I did see the office turn around and double-check my traffic lights the moment I passed by!

The next (and last) round I nearly missed green…I crossed at dark orange. But nothing happened, I got home as usual and China is still as China should be: Easy going.

Categories: Shanghai

Originally Created: 04/16/2007 05:55:12 PM
Last Edited: 04/16/2007