Crosspost- The Streets of China: Pre Covid
rctothefuture last edited by rctothefuture
(re-entering some old Kinja stories for posterity sake)
My wife was a teacher in China for a year. Taught English as a second langauge in Fuzhou, China. Was a really interesting place, nestled in the Mountains with some very interesting history. I didn’t take a ton of pictures of the city, as I was enthralled with drinking Pineapple beer on the streets and eating Burger King meals for $2USD.
Alas, I did grab some pictures of the Chinese car culture and thought I’d share them here:
A simple street corner. You’ll see that VW and Suzuki’s were the flavor on this part of town. In the back is a tire shop, I have a picture somewhere of a McLaren there getting some new rubber. Really stood out amongst the humdrum options of transportation.
Not all streets were like this, but they were gorgeous. Would have loved to been cruising in a Miata down these roads.
Parking in China is a lot like this. If they fit? They park. If it’s a quiet street, they can usually last a week before they get a ticket then towed. It happens all the time and it’s funny as hell to watch people park and just get out like it’s totally normal. China is a place where unless someone yells at you, you assume it’s legal. Wish I got the picture of an SUV parked in-between 2 bushes in the middle of an apartment complex.
This blew my mind. A Chinese, knockoff, Pontiac Aztek (called the Ssangyong Actyon). It was only there for a few minutes and I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of the front. It was truly uglier and sounded like a diesel pulling away. Poetic, really. Just like this shop:
Gas stations are rare in the city. They usually have long lines and are slow moving. They do have attendants that fill the car for you. Not sure how the pricing works but it was interesting to watch
Now onto the parking lot of our apartment:
Mustangs are rare, really rare in China. This one was hit by the Chinese AutoZone rack. Batman stickers, Mustang Club interior and stickers on sidewall to make them “sporty”. I believe this was a 2.3 eco with an auto, close to $58,000 in USD. Insane.
This cleanly wrapped G37 always caught my eye. Sat right next to the dumpster, weirdly.
This is the dichotomy of China’s growing economy. A beautiful, modified, M3 with low mileage and a nice exhaust. Next to it? A Chinese knock off of a Cavalier with a broken in door and grass growing around it. Then you look over and see a Kia and a VW Golf. It’s such an interesting site. The rich, the middle class, and the poor all sharing the same spaces. You know who’s doing the best but they all share the same pavement, side by side. It really caught my attention and I think about it a lot.
You never think about it at home. In the USA, everyone uses cars and seeing a new M3 or an old Cavalier (editors note: found out it's based on the Daihatsu Charade and is called the FAW Xiali) side by side is no big deal. These are modes of transportation. We don’t judge the Cavalier owner, we don’t see the car as a rolling rust bucket of failure. We understand everyone needs a car, that it’s the basic tool of freedom to succeed. Sure, we can turn our nose up but we also know we all started with something like that. We know that it’s a necessary tool, and some people treat a car like an appliance. That’s the American way after all.
But in China, that old knock off was once the pinnacle of the community. Owning a car over a scooter meant you were somebody, that you worked hard and pulled strings to get that little sedan. But now? It’s a tin can, a piece of rotting metal garbage in the eyes of the citizens who once admired the owner and cast jealous and wanting eyes upon him. Now, they look to the left with those eyes (at the BMW) and sneer their noses down at that old sedan. They aspire for the BMW, buy the VW, and laugh at the folks in a cheap tin can or even worse, a scooter.
The car in China is a status symbol, a symbol that you have “made it”. You’ve got high speed rail, tons of local transportation and taxi options. Electric scooters and bikes are easier to ride and quicker than driving a car. Yet here China is, ever expanding their car ownership numbers as people see their cars as an accessory. It’s not a way of living, it’s a way of showing how you live.
ItalianJobR53 last edited by
@rctothefuture i quite enjoyed this.... Thanks!
rctothefuture last edited by
@italianjobr53 Glad you enjoyed it! I plan on reposting a few other stories and reviews from Oppo and ones that I had in the works over the next couple of days to get everything off the sinking ship.