There is a great fascination with the way people transport themselves around Beijing. When I first arrived in the city, I was almost run over many times. Bikes, cars, tuck tucks, and other vehicles coming from everywhere. Anytime my family and I would walk on the sidewalk we thought we were safe. I was proven wrong. Nowhere is really safe for anybody in Beijing traffic. I soon learned that sudden movements could be fatal, however, if you are sure of yourself, not standing still, thinking if you should cross the street or not, you are more safe.
I have biked in The Netherlands, Texas, and London and all of these places I was never really scared to ride my bike. Beijing took a bit of time, but soon I felt jealous of all the bikers moving around swiftly. I later purchased a second-hand bike, till the arrival of my Dutch bike (we Dutch love our bikes). There is a huge sense of freedom moving around town with my daughter on the back. At first, I was a bit skeptical of all the crazy vehicles Beijingers have but felt that if I can’t beat them, I have to join them. So I did and biking around while ringing my bell is second nature to me now. I burst with pride when old Chinese men check out my Dutch grandma bike and give me a thumbs up.
I realize that some of these methods of transportation are very dangerous and in London, we would surely get arrested, like if we drop our four-month-old baby in the front basket of our bike. But here it’s fine, and I have stopped holding on to my heart because there is really nothing we can do, but smile, and enjoy the wild ride Beijing is taking us on.
This blog was posted originally on the beijingkids website.