Reality Check

I don’t realize how complacent I have become to many things in China that would be quite strange to me if I were still in the West.  That is, until incidents happen like what occurred yesterday. After work, I was riding my bicycle back to the hotel when I approached a motorcycle, driving very slowly, in front of me. I was wondering why in the world he was driving so slowly – until I passed him. Looking to my right, I saw a baby – maybe 18 months – sitting on the seat in front of the driver. Actually, I would say that the baby was not so much sitting as attempting to crawl up the gas tank. The driver had one hand holding onto the belly of the babe.

Why this is shocking to me is not because there was a small baby riding a motorcycle, with no helmet, no harness, no protection what so ever, but that as I passed by all I thought was, “How cute, look at that little baby.” That’s right. Not one thought of how dangerous the whole situation was. (I was back at the hotel by the time this realization hit me.) China is getting to me.

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