Our family's stay in Shanghai, China

Archive for July, 2012

Top 12 Things We Will Not Miss About China

As our time in China ends, we naturally have thought about our time here, what we have liked and what we haven’t.  So we started to list some.  We’ll start with the experiences and challenges that we are looking forward to being done with.  In a few days, we’ll end on a positive note, with a post of what we have been fortunate to experience.

10 wasn’t enough so here are:

The Top 12 Things We Will Not Miss About China

12.  Squat toilets.  And having to bring our own tp to public restrooms.

11.  No air-conditioning.  Although most public buildings are heated and cooled, the systems are unreliable and thermostats are set well beyond what we consider comfortable.  The office that Dave works in is often over 80F in the summer, and public places like trains stations can be miserable with so many people compounding the problem.  Getting accustomed to being sticky and hot is part of working in China.  Winter is better but similarly out of our normal comfort zone.  Indoor temperatures in the low 60s are not unusual.

10.  Unreliable and censored Internet service.  It’s not just Facebook and Youtube that are blocked in China.  We had to purchase a private vpn service to allow Carol Ann to reach some of the sites she uses for her job, even the WordPress blog site that you are reading this on is blocked, and Google maps is often inaccessible.  The Chinese government’s internet censorship is a complex and huge bureaucracy, employing thousands of people.  Sharing a one-line vpn was a hassle.

9.  Lack of manners.  It seems contradictory, but rudeness does not exist in China.  Pushing, shoving, shouting, cutting in front on the sidewalk, in line, or the highway- all are not considered rude here.  They are just how people move about and get what they need to.

8.  Language.  We are very conscious that we are visitors here, but the tonal language is extremely difficult to learn and our vocabulary is minimal, even after several months of Mandarin lessons.  The huge variety of complex written characters adds to the difficulty.  Everyday things like telling the hair stylist how long to cut our hair or asking our driver to make a quick stop at Starbucks or the grocery store are excruciatingly difficult.  Some of Shanghai is bilingual- such as road signs- but that disappears quickly in areas less frequented by Westerners.

7.  Noise.  We obviously can’t have the same expectations in a city of 23 million that we do in our home town of 50,000, but there is never a moment of peace.  From jackhammers and quite literally 24/7 construction sounds to fireworks and firecrackers at any hour of day or night to constantly honking horns, we long for a quiet day.  Not even the parks are quiet places of refuge.

6.  Not seeing stars at night.  The combination of city lights, smog, and hazy skies that are common in most Chinese cities prevents seeing stars at night.  We relished the views during our trip to Australia where the lack of population and clean air provided incredible views of thousands of stars.

5.  Chaotic and dangerous roads.  Cars weave and wind on the road, with lane markers being irrelevant and the daily deadly dance with taxis- they actually do seem to speed up and aim for pedestrians- is an experience we will definitely not miss.  The girls and I often played a “game” where we would guess how many points a driver would get if they hit westerners, American, blonde American, or multiples at the same time.

4.  Smoking.  As Carol Ann likes to say, Americans may be killing ourselves with heart disease and diabetes through our poor diets and lack of exercise, but the Chinese are going to collectively die from lung cancer.  There is a pending health epidemic of massive proportions with the hundreds of millions of smokers.  It is everywhere, and no smoking signs are routinely ignored.  When the country’s largest tobacco company is state-owned, making billions of dollars a year in profits, it’s hard to see the situation changing anytime soon.

3.  Food.  Most Chinese food is different but not unappealing- though there are exceptions (chicken feet is the classic example).  With less meat and more vegetables, it is much healthier than western diets.  But the ability to recognize and know what we are eating is something we will relish back in the US.  We also must constantly be careful to avoid any food that may have been washed with contaminated water.  Especially with Jenna’s nut allergy, traveling is a struggle.  When we do find something familiar, it is usually unhealthy fast food.  We yearn for our first backyard cookout of burgers and hot dogs on the grill with a fresh salad and yummy watermelon.

2.  Pollution and sanitation.  From garbage and sewage in the streets to open air meat markets without refrigeration to luxurious 5-star hotels without clean drinking water to some of the worst air pollution in the world to other less mentionables (trust us when we say you don’t want to know), the sights, smells- and the risk of illness- can be overwhelming.

1.  Freedom.  The Chinese people go about their daily lives on the surface and appear to be like any other country.   Yet, the internet is censored.  They do not control their destiny in careers or family-planning.  They do not vote for their leaders.  And, most importantly they have no freedom to worship God in the way that they choose.  There is nothing more precious than freedom.  China is far more open than in the past, but the single party government still has total control of power.  Even with all of our imperfections, we are incredibly blessed to have the fundamental freedoms bestowed upon us as Americans.

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We Are Home!

For those of you we have not seen or emailed, the girls and I are home!  We arrived back in Noblesville on July 18th after about 24 hours of travel, hotel room to our front porch.  We have been tired, adjusting, jet lagged and reacquainting ourselves with home.  Here are a few photos of our last days in Shanghai.  The girls and I toured and shopped in between packing boxes and suitcases.

We will have a few blogs coming in the next few weeks on our overall experience and things we will and will not miss about China.    Thanks for your thoughts, prayers, packages and emails while we were in China.  It was a neat experience, challenging, frustrating, interesting and amazing.

Laura and Jenna enjoy popcorn before the acrobatic show.

Traffic waiting to turn left does not always yield to oncoming traffic going straight. At this intersection, it was particularly bad pretty often. Our van and a bus on the right were trying to go straight. I snapped this photo as we passed the crosswalk on the opposite side of the intersection. The turning cars kept turning sharper and sharper, crossing the oncoming lanes of traffic before they even reached the intersection.

A homemade dumpster built on the sidewalk outside a building under renovation.

Remnants of firecrackers on the sidewalk near our apartment.  This was not an unusual sight.  They are used often to celebrate things like weddings or business openings.

The sidewalk barbershop near our apartment. He was apparently giving his client a shave. A small bowl of water was sitting on top of the bucket.

One of Jenna’s favorite places to play was on the floor in front of her large window. She often sat in the window sill to color or read. It was a great place to spread out her horses and fencing.

A restored church building just off the Bund. Built in the late 1800s, it burned in the early 2000s and was recently restored. Many of the church buildings from the late 1800s are no longer used as churches.

A beautiful wood revolving door on the Astor Hotel, a hotel from the mid-1800s and still used as a hotel with much of the interior restored. Ulysses S Grant once stayed in this hotel.

One of our favorite finds in China were palm paintings done solely with various parts of your hand.

Sorry for the slight blur. I was snapping this photo from the van as this three-wheel car passed by, loaded with cardboard.

Delivery cart loaded with boxes.

Sidewalk repair shop for bicycles and mopeds. His tools and supplies are in the cabinet on the right.

Mr. Yuan with the girls. He was one of our favorite drivers and was one of the two we most often had. Very friendly and gentlemanly. Did not want the girls or I to open our door. Apologized to us if we did, as if he had not gotten there fast enough. Mr. Yuan was one of our favorite parts about China. Except for the time he pulled in front of an ambulance, he drove safely, although a little jerky with the gas pedal.

This moped carried a small child (seated in front of the driver) with what appear to be grandparents. It was pretty common to see two adults with a child on a moped, bicycle or motorcycle.

Land space is limited, so businesses build up, not out. Drive-thrus are almost unheard of partly because of the space needed for them. This McDonald’s, apparently, cooks on the upper floor and sends prepared food down to fill the orders via this vertical conveyor.

Piracy: China and the U.S.

It is impossible to discuss China without piracy being one of the first topics of conversation, and is something that we have come into contact with many times during our time here.

Piracy is everywhere in China.  “Knockoffs”, “fake goods” and other euphemisms are in everyday conversation.  There are entire markets devoted to these products, often prominently featured in travel books.  In areas frequented by Westerners, you get pestered with “fake watch sir?”, “lady handbag sir?  Cheap!” and similar from the street peddlers.  At least they’re honest that it’s fake. . .  Walking down the Nanjing Road pedestrian mall, you may get asked 10 times in one block!  The going rate is about $50 for a fake Rolex.

I’ll never forget walking through a Shanghai market on my first trip to China several years ago.  At the time, Mission Impossible 3 had been in US theaters for less than a week.  Already pirated DVD’s were being sold in the market- for only a couple of dollars.

I honestly think that many Americans don’t even realize pirated goods are stolen.  Stealing of course will always be wrong, it is a timeless value that technology does not change.  Copying music, videos, and books has become so easy, that it is widespread.  The average person would not steal a CD from a store, yet, they share songs among friends.  I must confess that I have in the past copied music and computer software.  I am not proud of it, it was wrong, and I hope I never do it again intentionally.

I read many comments looking down on China for the lack of intellectual property rights.  And we should, but must also be consistent.  Just because downloading or sharing music without paying for it is cheap or convenient, it is still stealing.  Someone created the music, they own it.  They have every right to charge for the right to use what they worked so hard to create.

Even small things are pirated.  We bought an UNO card game to play in our apartment.  After using it for a while, we noticed there was no copyright or distributor information.  It is undoubtedly pirated.  This is especially ironic since UNO is distributed by a company in Indianapolis that is having financial difficulties, and here we are buying a game that they never got paid for.  The game is now in the trash.

Yahtzee card game on the left we brought from the US- it has distributor name and contact information and copyright; Uno game on the right we bought in China and later noticed it is blank except for the game logos- unmistakable signs of a forgery.

We have a DVD player in our apartment that cannot play our US DVD’s (a protection against copying).  So I asked the guys I work with, where can I buy legal DVD’s in China?  They couldn’t help me!   Piracy is so rampant in China that legal copies don’t exist.  Talk about making it hard to be honest!

For the most part, Chinese do not see piracy for what it is, it doesn’t even occur to them.  They do not view the ownership of intellectual property to be the creator of the material.  Copying and selling is viewed positively as entrepreneurial, and to be admired.  While I normally respect the cultural differences, this is one area that there simply is no gray area.  Just as what we call corruption or bribes is viewed as a sincere gift in some cultures (like we would take a customer to dinner), piracy is also viewed as part of business and the culture here.

Part of the reason for the cultural difference is the Asian emphasis on “face”, or appearances.  Chinese willingly buy inferior, poor quality products if it gives them prestige (such as designer clothes or a handbag).  It’s the label that matters, not what the product is made of.  Inevitably, many western brands are among those viewed as desirable.  It does not matter if the fake designer clothes wear out quickly, and a “no name” brand is more durable.

The prevalence of piracy is exacerbated by China’s ruthless capitalism.  In the country’s rush to catch up with the rest of the world economically, anything that can make a profit is aggressively marketed and sold.

There does appear to be increasing awareness of the problem.  One of the markets we visited in Beijing had signs posted to the effect of “Please respect creativity.  No illegal DVD’s.”  But just down the street from our apartment is a store selling DVD’s- all of them pirated, being sold in full view of the public and the police.  How can we tell you might wonder?  No plastic wrap or official packaging, mis-spellings and errors on the labels (like spam emails), but the giveaway is the price.  Only a few dollars for something that we’d pay $20-25 for.  It’s easy to sell them cheaply when the only cost is a blank DVD.

A DVD store near our apartment sells nothing but pirated DVDs.

A sign posted in the fabric market detailing how it’s illegal to sell fake goods and that you can be prosecuted for it. But, as our Great Wall guide said, “In China, there is law and there is reality.”

The problem of intellectual property protection (or IP as we shorten it) is very real for more than just music, videos, software, and clothing.  My company is very cognizant of the risk in China of our patents and trade secrets (such as manufacturing knowledge that is not patented) being taken.  In my job, I have to take extra cautions to prevent disclosure of sensitive information, and even limit what information my engineering team can access.  We do not allow customers to disassemble our motors, and we limit access to our IP as much as possible.  It’s what we get paid to create as engineers- why would we allow it to be stolen?  Piracy and IP protection affects everyone, not just movie and rock stars.

I also find our engineers using pirated software- which they view positively for saving the company money.  I love the cost savings focus- but I tell them to remove it anyhow.

Until recently, even the Chinese government allowed pirated software on computers in government offices.  The increased pressure from western countries on China to eliminate pirated products is having an affect.  But it is a very slow process that will take many years, perhaps several generations, to change.  It’s not a matter of just changing what people can do, but also the mindset that does not see anything wrong.

Photos from Around China

It seems we keep seeing new, interesting, unusual, strange, surprising and just different things around China to take photos of.  Things we are not used to seeing where we live and perhaps you don’t see them either.  Some might be “China Moments” and others could just be life in a big city.  The photos and captions tell the story.

In Beijing, we watched this elderly Chinese lady pushing a wooden cart that appeared to be filled with dirty laundry down the street (not the sidewalk) as a bus zipped past her.

In the French Concession in Shanghai, we saw this Goodyear Tire Center on the 1st floor of an apartment building. Not your typical location.

As we walked around the French Concession we saw lots of laundry out drying, or, I guess I should say, hanging outside since it was a rainy day. The owner of these clothes, appropriated their umbrella to at least keep it from getting any wetter.

A Chinese version of the mini van. If you look carefully, you can see a small infant cradled in the lady’s arms. This is not uncommon. Neither are toddlers on the back or small children standing in front of the driver.

We often see bikes or mopeds with baskets of fruit like these zipping through the city or parked at corners or along the street. Their owners carry scales to weigh the fruit they sell.

A fence we saw in the French Concession. I’m not sure what the natural material is, but it looks quite sharp on the top.

Although we don’t see them often, these manually pulled carts are still used around China. This photo was taken in Suzhou and we’ve seen them near our apartment in Shanghai.

We see this guy with plants fairly often around our apartment. He will stop for an hour or two by our apartment and then move to another location. His are all live plants in pots. We also see cut flower carts near one of the grocery stores we visit. Plants and flowers are pretty cheap here, and we bought Christmas poinsettias from him.

Bicycle Parking along the sidewalks in Shanghai. It’s unusual to see a spot this empty. Some places are free. Others have an attendant who charges for bicycle, motorcycle and moped parking.

In Beijing, near the Drum and Bell Towers – We watched gallons and gallons of some type of cooking oil being delivered. The Chinese do not bake, but they use a lot of oil.

Outside a temple in Suzhou, local Chinese sold all kinds of fresh fruit. This lady had a cart she or her husband manually pulled.

Near the entrance to the Great Wall, Chinese ladies were lined up selling all sorts of items from food to souvenirs. This lady was cracking nuts along the roadway with a brick or rock. I can’t imagine how she got the dirt and rocks from the road separated from the nuts.

While walking along the dam in the park by the Great Wall in Beijing, we heard something behind us and when we turned, here came this donkey loaded down with some type of cut grass. A Chinese couple was following behind him.

Mandarin Translations and Signs

We understand the signs most of the time, but the phrasing is so odd from how we would speak or write, it just sounds funny.

The sign was just hilarious. First of all, it’s China, it’s always crowded with people pushing and shoving and it’s always noisy. We are clueless as to what “speeling” is.

Signs asking you to “keep off the grass” or out of flower beds get very creative. As you might have guessed by its shape, this one was at the Giant Panda Preserve in Chengdu.

Translations from Mandarin to English are not always quite accurate.  Sometimes they phrase things oddly because grammar in Mandarin is so different from English.  For instance, Mandarin does not use past, present, or future tense verbs.  The verb tense come from the context.  They also don’t re-order sentences to make questions; they add a short word at the end to make something a question.

It might be an odd or funny word choice.  Sometimes it’s a misspelling and they simply don’t realize it.  Sometimes it’s just hilarious phrasing.  Some signs are just the cute ways to say protect grass, plants and trees.  There are some signs we simply do not know what they were trying to say.  In the 8 months we’ve been here, we have tried to take photos of the funny signs we have seen here.  I hope you enjoy and get a little laugh or at least a smile.

“Virescense” means the state of becoming somewhat, though usually not totally, green through the abnormal presence of chlorophyll. That’s quite a statement for a “keep off the grass” type of sign.

As you can guess, it was at a restaurant and is a little different from how we would phrase it. Translations are sometimes by computer programs and sometimes by people with minimal English skills.

It’s hard to read, but it was funny enough to include. “Please protect the grass and trees for then they will always be able to share their life with you.” I like plants and trees and flowers, but I don’t typically think about them “sharing life” with me.

Taken in a pagoda we were climbing. Probably should read: Look out! Don’t knock head.”

You don’t really know where the next funny sign might be. This was in a toilet stall. Enough said.

We didn’t have to “make” a detour, just follow the one they had all ready made.

A sign in Sun Yat Sen’s home in Shanghai. We weren’t “inspecting”, just on a tour.

These next few signs were all in gardens in Suzhou, China. The humor comes from the flowery, wordy phrasing. I started to say “verbose phrasing” but Jenna would have called that a $5 word.

This is actually very good advice, especially for Jenna who often looks behind her while walking forward.

As I mentioned, a lot of these are the flowery (no pun intended) phrases to just keep you off the grass.

“riotous” color?

They wanted you to be careful climbing the slick, steep steps. Again, it conveys the message, but it’s odd phrasing.

On a short wall in a display at a museum in Shanghai. Sometimes I think the translator looks for one word when we would be more likely to use a phrase. “Climb over” instead of “surmount.”

I believe this sign was “explaining” the times and locations for guided tours.

I honestly don’t know where to begin with this sign. First, it’s at an Escalator, not an elevator and every bullet point has something to smile or giggle about. “Pedal” suggests we could alter the speed of the escalator. We are happy to “keep a distance”, but would get run over by the Chinese who crowd. I’m not sure what “patients” are visiting a children’s museum.

The sign is posted on a glass geodesic dome over escalators along the Bund. I think this is another translation that they looked for A word rather than a phrase. And in this case, for someone from Germany, France or another country who has minimal English skills, the translation is probably more confusing than “Do Not Climb” would have been.

Do you really have to “go backwards”?

So, flames with clothes on are okay?

This is one the sign and the background have to go together. Where are the “perilous hills”?

“vesture of verdure” is, according to Jenna, a $50 phrase!

On a bag from the fabric market – even the shopping bags have funny sayings

Schweikert Family Update

Our favorite driver, Mr. Huang and the girls. He did not speak English, but we learned to communicate the basics. He drove as if he had Driver’s Training in the U.S. He waited for cars, did not speed and was just aggressive enough to get us where we needed to go. To get this photo, I held up the camera and pointed to him and the girls and said “Photo?” He gave me a questioning look and I repeated myself. He smiled and stood next to them. The funny thing? Although he does not speak English, he listens to almost all American music!

Laura and a statue of Nie Er, the composer of China’s National Anthem and a violinist. Sadly, he drowned in 1935 at just 23 years old.

Well, we are starting the last week of our stay in Shanghai, China.  We fly to Hong Kong on July 16th and then to the U.S. on July 18th.  It has been an interesting, challenging, fun, frustrating, educational experience (and there are probably a few other adjectives we could use).  Some days we  have enjoyed the experience; other days were just too challenging to enjoy.  But it has been an eye-opening experience.  Just visiting China for a week or two or even a month, you would never see and experience all the things we have living here for 8 months.  Has it been all good?  No, but we are definitely changed for having had the experience.  We will come back to the U.S. with a whole new appreciation for our country.  She is not perfect, but the liberties and freedoms we have are so precious.

Jenna in a tea shop in the Yuyuan Bazaar. I asked about the tea they were drying and asked if I could take photos. The gentleman in the photo did not speak English, but understood the camera and motioned Jenna over, handed her the basket and posed. Some of our trips into stores and small shops are fun, enjoyable and learning experiences.

We hope you have enjoyed traveling this journey with us.  There will be a few more blogs, some funny, some interesting.  We ask that you keep us in your prayers as we travel and for our family’s transition back to life in the U.S. The girls and I will travel without David.  He has to stay in China for another week or two to meet with an important client.

We are squeezing in a few more sight-seeing trips including the Oriental Pearl at night.  Enjoy these photos and we will see you soon!

Hope you enjoyed Independence Day on July 4th.  We did not get to grill burgers as we often do, and despite having seen a ton of fireworks since we came to China, we did not get to enjoy any on the 4th.

Jenna liked this building because it was a theater where a well-known ballerina learned to dance.

Late on a clear, Friday afternoon the girls and I met David at the Oriental Pearl to see the city at night. We are up on level with the glass floor looking straight down the tower to the lowest “pearl” shortly before the sun set.

Looking out across the Huangpu River toward the Bund on the Puxi side of Shanghai as the sun was setting.

The city lights at night, looking down Century Avenue toward the tall skyscrapers in Shanghai’s business center.

The sun has set and just the lights show in the skyline. The tall tower with the flower-like top is one of Jenna’s favorite buildings in Shanghai. It’s commonly known as the “lotus flower building” because of the lotus flower design on the top.

City lights of Shanghai at night toward the traffic and pedestrian circles near the Oriental Pearl.

Lights on the steps to the Oriental Pearl flash colors and patterns at night. Jenna posed for the camera.

The Oriental Pearl lit up at night. In case I have not said, it’s called the Oriental Pearl for the three “pearls” in the tower. After all the buildings we have seen in China, it remains Laura’s favorite.

Our Extra Day in Beijing

Laura and Jenna in the Drum Tower

Drum Tower – When the book stated the stairs were an exhausting climb, they were not exaggerating.

Bell Tower – They look even steeper from the top down.

The girls & I spent an extra day in Beijing to visit the Drum & Bell Towers, and what was described as the “best restored historic home” in Beijing.  We visited those towers in Xi’an and I thought they were really interesting.  These two buildings were found in nearly every city in China at one time because they were important in telling time.  The people woke up, worked, went to sleep, attended special functions, etc. all to the sounds of the bells and drums.  Plus, these are typically tall buildings with great views of the city.

It was a real treat to see and hear the beating of the drums.

We enjoyed these two in Beijing.  We heard a musical concert with bells in Xi’an.  In Beijing, we were able to hear the drums.  Unfortunately, in Beijing you don’t have the great views of the city because you are not able to get out onto the balconies.

Drum Tower

Pair of doors at Prince Gong’s Palace

Called the Hau Zhao Lou, this building was the back for all three sections of the palace and is 150 meters long. It seemed to stretch on and on.

A covered corridor at Prince Gong’s palace

Our second stop was at a site called Prince Gong’s Palace.  Built in the 1700s, Prince Gong moved in after its first occupant was executed.  The compound is surrounded by a wall with courtyards and covered walkways connecting the various buildings.  It is described as one of Beijing’s most lavish residences.  The various buildings are beautiful, but unfortunately very few were open for us to see inside.

As is typical, this compound also has beautiful gardens with lakes and ponds, pavilions and courtyards.  The girls and I took advantage of a comfortable shaded spot atop a rockery to have a snack.

Laura and Jenna pose on one of the rockeries in Prince Gong’s garden. Rockeries are man-made rock formations, originally held together by glutinous rice.

The entire time we have lived in China, we have seen various kinds of rickshaws, tuk tuks, baby taxis, or whatever name you would like to use.  The pedal-powered ones have long been synonymous with China, but are quickly disappearing.  In Beijing, the pedal-powered rickshaws are relegated to one area, around a park near the Prince Gong residence and Drum and Bell Towers.  As we left Prince Gong’s palace, we were approached by one of the drivers and I negotiated a price for the 3 of us for a 30-40 minute ride.  The driver we initially were talking with, was a little slow to accept our offer and another driver tried to “steal us away.”  Not willing to lose the sale, the initial driver shooed a Chinese couple out of his rickshaw and Laura, Jenna and I climbed in.  It was a very enjoyable ride.  We went through the hutongs (historic Beijing neighborhoods) and around the park.  Surprisingly, the driver did not ask for payment until we were two-thirds done.  He was quite friendly, we felt very safe and are glad we had the experience.

Our first rickshaw ride. It lasted about 35 minutes and cost about $50 USD, but he had to work pretty hard since he was pedaling the whole way.

Our view riding through the hutongs in Beijing, their historic neighborhoods with winding alleyways like this one.

Our afternoon was to be spent at a market in Beijing that I had researched.  There are two major markets in Beijing and this one was supposed to be less aggressive and less chaotic/busy.  It was neither.  As we walked along, I mentioned to Laura that I was shocked at how aggressive the sales people were and how busy and chaotic it was.  She agreed and we could not imagine what the other market would be like.  After a few hours of shopping and haggling, we found several gifts and a few take-homes for us.  The market was supposed to be a short walk from our hotel, so rather than take a taxi, we set out walking.  Yet, nothing on the map seemed to match what we were seeing on street signs.

After 30-40 minutes of walking, we realized, our taxi driver had not dropped us at the market we wanted to go to, but the busy/aggressive market.  Our hotel was not a short walk away.  But undeterred, we decided to try to walk anyway.  An hour later, we were hot, exhausted and frustrated by street signs that still did not match our map.  As we stood on the corner, we were approached by a powered rickshaw.  I almost waved him away, but not knowing exactly how much longer we would have to walk, decided to take another rickshaw ride.  So, through afternoon traffic, across busy streets and through cars, buses, bicycles and motorcycles, the girls and I bounced along in our second rickshaw ride.  In Laura’s words that afternoon, “This is fun in a nervous sort of way.”  She was right.  It was fun, but you do feel a little nervous in all the traffic.

Our view during our 2nd rickshaw ride. The ride took about 10 minutes and cost less than $10USD. This rickshaw was battery-powered, we think. The driver pedaled some, but not all the time.

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