Today I am planning to go to Beijing. Not by train, as most Chinese would do, nor by plane, which is the fastest option. No, for the first time I am going to drive my car the 1200+ kilometers from Shanghai to Beijing. Why? Because I have never done it before, and it seemed like a good idea a few weeks ago while having a couple of beers. But now I am not so sure anymore. First of all the weather seems to be rainy for most of the ride (Jiangsu and Shandong province both report heavy rain), and second the trip will take at least 12 hours that I also could have spent relaxing, reading or doing sports (or working of course, but it’s holiday now, so I try to forget about that for a few hours).
I actually don’t know anybody who has driven this road him or herself, and that surprised me. Shanghai and Beijing are China’s main cities, but nobody I talked to has ever driven a car between the two of them. In Europe or the US a 2400 kilometer road trip (roundtrip) is not uncommon actually, but here people look at you as if you are crazy. The roads should be OK, according to my map most of the roads should be expressways. Of course traffic is a bit dangerous, especially in rural areas. From past driving experiences I know that I can expect ghost drivers, trucks that back up on the high speed lane, bike riders in the middle lane, farmers crossing the road with loads of vegetables, and of course the trucks and buses that do not follow any of the road rules in order to get from A to B as soon as possible.
Anyway, too late to turn back now. I am going to get going! The next blog post will hopefully be from Beijing.