Each day as we are stopped for morning tea, lunch etc we meet interesting people. The cars attract interest and there is always someone wanting to take a photo. As we are driving at 100kms/hr down a motorway, a car will drive alongside, the window is wound down and someone is using their phone to take a photo! It is more worrying if there is no passenger and it is the driver trying to do it by himself. If a truck is driving erratically in front – one of the reasons for their driving may be that they are taking a photo of one of the other cars! I can’t help but wonder how many times photos of the group have been published on social media!
Yesterday while stopped in heavy traffic entering Xian, a couple in the car next to us, wound down their window and asked us where we were from. They had perfect English so a conversation was had…She and just returned from a years study in Sydney….no more details as the lights turned green!
One term that has developed as we drive is ” Sticky rice”. It began when we needed to stay together to get through a town earlier in China and the term, like the rice, has stuck! When the lead car comes over the radio and says “drive like sticky rice!” we all keep closer to the car in front. On the motorway, although we drive as a group within radio contact, we can be several kilometres at times between front and tail car.
Occasionally I have said I feel like a monkey in a zoo and Ian replies “but we don’t get fed”! When we are stopped (for whatever reason) … people come around the cars, stand next to us and start taking photos. If we are eating lunch this doesn’t deter them! Because China has such a large population they don’t seem to have personal space and don’t expect it. If they can’t speak English this isn’t a problem…pointing to our trip map on the side of the car or handing them one of our trip cards with the email and blog listed seems to suffice. …photos are always taken!