Pedestrians Beware: You do NOT have the right of way when crossing the street in China.  Who does, you ask?  Well, that is certainly debatable, but when I’m crossing the street it’s definitely that vehicle that is rapidly approaching without any intention of slowing down, despite the clearly lit WALK sign.

In China, the traffic lights count down to the change of the light.  Sadly this does not ail any impatience that drivers may have, because they usually just ignore the light all together.  

My roommate’s mother was asking the other night whether the Chinese drive on the right or left side of the road.  That's also a questionable question.  I guess the easiest answer would be whatever is open.

One saving grace pedestrians do have, is that the drivers, bikers, people on scooters and rickshaws will have the curtsey to warn you of their proximity with an obnoxious symphony of horn honking.
  They also have the not so courteous habit of honking when they are nowhere near you, or if they realize that you are not Asian.  They are especially entranced with African Americans, and may even pull up beside you and ask for a picture.  The ebony skin of my friend Isaac has earned him celebrity status over here, and can’t really go anywhere without a few random flashes erupting from a nearby gawker’s camera.  

This actually happened to me today for the first time while I was out sight seeing.  A teenage girl approached me and asked in broken English if she could take a photo with me, and before I knew it, I was surrounded by a group of her friends who also wanted a photo with the white girl.  I guess it was flattering, if not a bit awkward.  Hmmm...I wonder how many Chinese photo albums I'll appear in by the time I leave China.