Sunday, September 21, 2014

To Have or Not Have a Car in Wuxi, China?

As I ponder this question, I make the following thoughts and observations and statements:
  • Cars are nice things to have and they do cause those who don't have them to feel envious of those who do.
  • I don't have a car.
  • Be that as it may, the first Wuxi foreigners to have cars, with the exception of one German I knew, were insufferable to be around because they had cars. If there was any sense in this world – and there isn't much – those people should have had one of their digits cut off. This would have may be tolerable and even figures worthy of admiration.
  • My wife doesn't appear to want a car.
  • Many of my wife's relatives have cars, including one of her sisters.
  • So many people in Wuxi now have cars. I would even go as far to say that too many people in Wuxi now have cars.
  • The mob having cars is all the more reason than in individual shouldn't.
  • Wuxi has bad smog. Not as bad as Beijing or Shanghai but Wuxi's smog would be a scandal in Canada or America.
  • The fact that so many people have cars makes many places, including those that you can only get to by car, not worth going to because cars and crowds take the romance out of even the most scenic spots.
  • When I initially came here, I liked how I could live in Wuxi without owning a car. I could take buses and cars anywhere, and it was easy to hire a car with driver.
  • An e-bike is much cheaper than a car.
  • An e-bike is a pain in the ass to recharge and it is even more of a pain in the ass when it has a flat tire. It is easier to change a tire on a car than on an electric bike. And an electric bike that has a flat tire is a pain in the ass to try to push to the repairman.
  • Riding and e-bike or bicycle in the rain is not enjoyable, in the least.
  • Parking. The problem with cars is that they have to be parked. It has been pointed out that most of the time cars aren't moving but just taking up space. At my apartment complex, this is a very noticeable problem as cars will block paths meant for pedestrians and bicycles.
  • Living in my apartment complex, which has not enough speed bumps, I can see why speed bumps were invented.
  • Parking in downtown Wuxi is a pain, the students who own cars have told me. One student told me that she had to drive around the downtown for ten minutes before she could finally find a parking spot.
  • Some students tell me they pay as much as 800 rmb a month for parking in their apartment complex.
  • There is something ugly about a structure that is surrounded by parking space. Examples: Shopping Malls and Stadiums.
  • Cars give the average person freedom of mobility but they also seem to be an excuse for the government to exert more control. Governments like to mine car owners for money with speed cameras. Never are people more subject to the totalitarian impulses of the supposed democratic state than when they own cars
  • A neighborhood that you can walk through is more attractive than one that you have to drive through. I like the tight compact old neighborhoods in Wuxi where the lanes are as wide as apartment hallways.
  • Have a car and you have to go somewhere with it, even when you would rather stay home.
  • You need a lot of money to operate a car.
  • The opportunity costs of what you could do with the money you spend on owning and operating a car are high. In my case, I wouldn't be able to go back to Canada with my family if I owned a car.
  • Chinese drivers drive rudely and selfishly. If I drove about Wuxi, I would experience road rage. Chinese drivers like to drive on sidewalks and honk at pedestrians in front of them to get out of their way. In my apartment complex, drivers will do 50 kilometers per hour, oblivious to pedestrians, when proceeding along the narrow lane ways between the apartment buildings.
  • Chinese drivers cheat with their cars the way cyclists cheat with the bicycles.
  • I don't want to associate or have anything in common when persons who will not take into account the presence of pedestrians when making turns.
  • Many of the road are six lanes wide in the area of Wuxi where I live. It overwhelms a pedestrian and makes him feel like an inadvertent trespasser.
  • Public transportation in Wuxi is not bad, especially when you compare it to anywhere in Canada. In Wuxi, buses are plentiful and cheap to ride. Taking the subway is the best way to go to downtown Wuxi. I can take a shuttle bus without having to wait long for to get to the Subway which leaves every ten minutes for downtown.

I hope I have supplied a good list of the pros and cons of owing a car in Wuxi.

Weighing what I have said, I declare that currently I have no desire to own a car because I want to go to Canada and I want to own a Macbook computer. As well, I can get by quite nicely with the Wuxi public transportation system and using an e-bike. But more importantly, my wife doesn't appear to want to buy a car. If she is fine with not having a car, then I am happy. It is nice to not be alone when defying the world and the mob with it's materialistic impulses.


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

You wasted everybody's time writing this dribble. Your WIFE (in name only) does not want you to buy a car (afraid you'll use it to screw around with your co-worker Zach). Why not be honest instead of such a jerk?

Professor Severus Snape said...

I know a German man who once owned a Trabant back in East Germany. He said it was plastic, and the engine was "horrible". I intend to seek out a thundering V8, partly because those engines are smooth, and partly so I can irritate the nanny-staters.