September 5, 2013

"Yes, Yes, I Taxi, I Drive You."

We arrived in Beijing (Oct 2011) and Chad and Varian arranged transport for us. This is something that I would really struggle doing on my own, and frankly we all were a bit skeptical that it would work out. But Chad was confident we could find someone to drive us around for the day and get to where we wanted to go. And this is who we found.

He did not speak English other than a few random words. We did struggle trying to communicate with him the places and order of things we wanted to see, but in the end we did get to all the places we wanted to go and we had a great day.

Driving around was crazy! There didn't seem to be many rules or he didn't seem to follow any (speed limits, which lane to stay in...minor details). He drove around so fast and crazy. He said he was a taxi driver but we questioned this and he kept saying that he had a license. When we asked to see it this is what he showed us.

Chad told him how this hardly counted as a license, that it was just a bunch of scribbles. But he just nodded his head and said something like, "yes, yes, license." We had a good laugh. We were just grateful in the end he didn't pull into some back alleyway and have his friends jump out and rob us blind or sell us to some slave trade! :} So in faith we smashed ourselves on in his car and off we went for our day's adventure.

It was very alarming to me not to have car seats for our boys during the whole trip (we did whenever we could) as that is something I would absolutely never allow driving at home. I kept being assured by others this is "what you do" when you're in foreign countries, but it seems like it's even worse to do it in countries that drive like maniacs! I prayed and prayed for our boys on the times where our car seats were in flight (this was just a layover) or unavailable. And I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father always protected us while we were driving around. And after a crazy day of Chinese driving we needed it!

We had him drive us to the Great Wall, Tienanmen Square, and some markets. I was going to combine this post with the Wall pictures but I have a ton of those and so will probably leave it at that. We liked our friendly "taxi" driver in the end and were grateful that he took us around for the day, and in the end he even found us better markets than we were expecting. I can't count how many times I winced at the traffic or driving conditions and closed my eyes hoping we'd make it past some obstacle or oncoming vehicle, but in the end we survived and loved our day in China!

ps: I debated on the title for this post and want to make sure it in NO way comes across as derogatory or mocking the Asian culture/accent. It more is a fond memory of trying to communicate with him that day and his obvious lack of taxi-driver qualifications. :)

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