GTA Beijing


After one of many close calls during our tour buses’ overtaking manoeuvres, one of the other tourists joked that it was just like playing Grand Theft Auto. He has a point.

  • No apparent speed limit.
  • Right of way isn’t enforced.
  • Nobody indicates.
  • Police only get involved if they witness an actual collision.
  • Even if the police do bust you, a donation can set you on your way again.
Seems to me like Asia is the natural setting for GTA. Why do Rockstar keep setting Grand Theft Auto in New York, Miami and LA lookalikes?

Think of the possibilities:

  • Denser, more chaotic traffic, to keep things interesting. Perhaps it’d be best suited if it were a final level of the game?
  • More varied interesting vehicles. I kept seeing tuktuks, rickshaws, huge tricycles with a big carrying tray between the back wheels (pickup tricycle? ute trike?), motorbikes converted into minibuses, tractors converted into minibuses, and so on. I even saw one guy cycling through the hutongs on a ute trike with its tray removed and a charcoal grill welded in its place. He was a mobile shish kebab stand!
  • Pedestrians whose courage and stoicisim is matched only by their keen senses and finely tuned reaction times. Not to mention their sophisticated flocking behavour which allows them to make impromptu pedestrian crossings, much like a column of army ants will form a bridge out of their comrades.

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