I was recently Skyping with a family member, in the hallway of a hotel in Shanghai (I’m sure I looked pretty funny on the security cameras!), and she commented on how she envisions us being driven around in a limo-like van with a glass partition. At first, it made me chuckle, and then I considered that it might make for a good blog post!
We are driven around in a Buick minivan (provided by the company) that is just like the minivans driven in the US, but instead of Jamie or myself in the driver’s seat, it is our driver Mr. Dong. I Googled Buick minivan to get the model name and up popped “Buick minivan China” (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-20/china-s-hottest-wheels-for-executives-a-buick-minivan.html) , so that testifies to our van’s popularity here on the mainland.
There are hundreds (thousands?) of Buick minivans being driven around Suzhou and Shanghai. We can tell the age of the minivans by what color they are...navy blue are the oldest, slightly newer are the silver ones and finally champagne (like ours) or silver again, but with the newer body style. I have a fear of accidentally climbing into the wrong minivan when riding with friends to lunch, to the grocery store or other excursions. Needless to say, I’ve tried to memorize my friend’s license plates or recognize their drivers!
There is no glass partition to block our driver from hearing our children when they are crying or whiny (which never happens). Poor guy!
We do appreciate the extra space our van offers, because after adding a few pieces (or maybe 12 ) of luggage in the van, we are pretty much up to capacity. Soon, we will probably have to hire an additional car or van to get our luggage to and from the airport for the long treks back to the US.
On a final note, there are no child car seat laws in China. Although there are many, many people with cars here, for the vast majority of the population, the law wouldn’t change how they travel with their children (using the bus, e-bikes, bicycles, etc.). Our kids do have child car seats and use them.
Take me home, Jeeves!
In case you were wondering what else is parked our apartment's garage...
|Lots of E-bikes|
(to read more about E-bikes, click here)
|Not too shabby of a motorcycle.|
|I like this motorcycle, but I have my eye|
on a BMW motorcycle with a side car that
also parks in our garage.
|And you can't forget the Range Rover.|
Can I just say that I felt so shady and criminal walking around our apartment's garage taking pictures of people's cars. The things I do for the sake of a good blog post!