Follow all safety instructions

We’ve taken some time getting used to a new set of safety standards here in Nanjing.  A few things stand out in mind to us as memorable differences from what we’re used to in the states.

1. Car seats are fairly non-existent. What before in the States felt like neglectful parenting now is routine- hopping into a car with no bother about having a safety seat for Leo.  Seatbelts are also optional for us.

2. Traffic: beware the beep of the horn, lest you suffer the consequences! Who knew that claiming the right of way could be so easy!

3. Work zones: cordoning off work zones is left to the crew’s initiative.  If they feel a jackhammer in the middle of the sidewalk isn’t intrusive, no need to put up barriers.  This past weekend we were walking under a few stories of bamboo scaffolding, unwitting to the fact that it was being simultaneously torn down. Sharp wires and sizeable planks of bamboo walkways started flying down around us- the demolition crew kindly waved hello to us once they noticed us passing through below.

4. We were shocked to see our A/C repairman climb right out onto our 7th story wall unit with nothing but a rope tied around his waist, attached to the flimsy patio railing as an anchor.  Thank goodness he didn’t fall- we’re not sure either the rope or the railing would have held!

5. After our solar water heater was installed, our landlord explained to us that during a rainy day, we’d need to plug it in to heat the water.  But, he said, don’t take a shower during the rain.  This was his way of explaining that stepping into running water with the heater electricity plugged in could be very dangerous.  Needless to say, now we check the socket every time before taking a shower.


1 Response to “Follow all safety instructions”

  1. 1 mjfalk April 15, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    When Mary Alice and I spent a week with Lucie in Costa Rica while she was in the Peace Corps there for two years—we noticed that you got an electric shock in the shower when ever you happened to touch the metal pipe going out the shower stall and up the wall toward the ceiling. Guess that was because an electric wire was wrapped around the water pipe out on the wall. After that we went swimming a lot more and rarely used the shower while there. Nasty spiders with yellow polka dots hung out on the bushes near the path to her door—it was handy that they were Spiders of Unusual Size—easy to swat. Mary Alice and I both ended up on Cipro after eating a delicious salad there after being warned that such fresh vegetables might be a problem later on—not in the travel brochures. Well cooked food was OK. The people were wonderful and very enjoyable.

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April 2008
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