Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Back in Shanghai

Back in Shanghai, I'm done traveling for a while, other than back and forth to Korea. I'm thinking about going to Xi'an before leaving for the States again at the end of November, and have scheduled myself for a weekend retreat at a Buddhist monastery outside of Beijing in a couple of weeks. Other than that, this week's amusement is drivers.

Since I moved into Shanghai, I've had a car and driver service. Since I was gone for a couple of weeks, the driver I had--who I really liked--is now with someone else in the office. The guy who picked me up at the airport and drove me on the weekend was fine, too. As of yesterday I had a new driver who was supposed to be with me until the end of November. But after one day I decided this guy was just too creepy---plus his driving made me nervous---so now I have another one.

Why was he creepy? Well, for one thing he kept scratching himself--on his head, his arms, his stomach-- he even rolled up a pant leg to scratch his legs. Constantly, and while driving, which is the thing that made me nervous. I am not sure if he had a skin disorder, lice or what, but it was creepy and distracting. This morning he didn't do it as much, but it was one of those things where I kept watching him to see if he would start up again. Besides that, he zoned out and almost missed the exit a couple of times, and had to cross over four lanes to swerve onto the ramp, and he kept wandering over to the shoulder and driving there. So I asked for him to be replaced.

The new guy seems to be a bit better, but he too wound up annoying me. On the way home, he kept in the passing lane, but he doesn't drive that fast so everyone went around him. In my admittedly limited Chinese, I finally pointed out that he was going too slow to be in that lane. So what does he do? He speeds up, but switches lanes so he is now passing people who are in the passing lane. Back in Shanghai.

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