Friday, June 15, 2007

Only Graffii in Shanghai

I think I have found the only graffiti in all of Shanghai, and I'm sure it was commissioned (meaning it was done with permission). It is funny what laws are broken and what laws are strictly followed in a totalitarian country.

Traffic laws are non-existent. As a pedestrian I have seen cars go through countless red lights, honking at pedestrians to get out of the way. As a passenger in a friends car (name withheld to protect the guilty), I have seen her heinously break traffic laws in a car without license plates and without a drivers license. Cars drive on the sidewalk (again, honking for pedestrians to get out of their way- honking is big in Shanghai), in on-coming traffic lanes, dividing lanes - in fact, I have seen cars drive anywhere physically possible.

I find the "rules" and how Chinese citizens follow or don't follow them interesting but it is difficult to find Chinese people who will talk about this. I'm not trying to cause trouble, I'm just very curious. I saw a policeman browsing pirated DVDs on the street the other day. A whole other reality here.

All in all, very safe though. Violent crime seems to be very low and I have not seen a homeless person in the two months I have been here. Very civil, if you restrict your conversations to the approved topics.

Then again, I'm from a country that just deported a mentally disabled US citizen to one of the most dangerous cities in Mexico (his wereabouts are unknown) while there is talk of pardoning a man who was been convicted of two perjury counts and one count each of obstructing justice and making false statements regarding the outing of a CIA agent. Then there was the kid who was sentenced to 22 years in prison for damaging three cars? For the last five years, US citizens could be imprisoned indefinitely without access to a laywer. Laws and Justice...
This graffiti can be found in the "Milky Way" of all places.


Post a Comment

<< Home