Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Road to Shanghai 

I have seen several road signs indicating the distance to Nanning. Nanning is the capital city of Guangxi Provinvce to the south. So we must be heading south for awhile, and then heading east into Hunan Province.

This is an old bus. Nothing fancy. But the seats are comfortable. And there is an expressway running all the way across China from Guiyang to Shanghai. I find myself getting bored or frustrated with this long ride, I will just have to spend a few minutes thinking about what this trip would have been like on gravel roads in old China. Times have changed.

For an average person, travel by car across China does not really compare to what it would be for an average person in America. This is because in America, a car is a necessity, so most people have one of some kind. But also, I have never seen a freeway in China that wasn't a toll road. This is frustrating, but it is also fair. It wouldn't really be right to pay for highways by taxing millions of poor farmers who don't drive and will probably never have a car. In China, the roads are paid for by the people who use them. Result: Traveling by car across China doesn't really save the average family money the way it would in the United States. In America, unless you are traveling all by yourself, you can just about guarantee that travel by car will be cheaper than any other method. Mind you, I am saying this based on my own American experience, which ended when I moved to Beijing, before the gasoline prices in the States went sky high.

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