Me and Chairman Mao
  Sign language 8.
I was in a cab the other day and I noticed something funny on the sign with all the taxi rules and regulations that is posted in the back of the cab for the passengers to read. The funny thing about it was--I mean, besides the sign itself, which is funny, but a different funny--that we take taxis from this company all the time, and in the nine months or so we've been in Shanghai, I'd never noticed it until this weekend. I think it's because the sign in question is behind the driver, and since I usually let Holly get in taxis first (partially because I'm just that polite, but mostly because that way she can tell the taxi driver where we're going and I don't have to worry about it), I don't ever actually get the chance to read the sign.

Anyway, one half of the sign basically just lists what the driver has to do, things like not smoking, not talking on his cell phone, and obeying traffic laws, all of which are--of course--routinely ignored. Particularly the last one, since, as far as I can tell, the only actual traffic law here in China is that you shouldn't run red lights ... unless it has been less than 10 seconds or so since the light turned red, in which case you can just ignore it and continue right on through the intersection. As for the other half of the sign, it lists the rules of the cab, things like not hassling the driver, and so on. However, my favorite "rule" was, without a doubt, this little gem, which has been slightly photoshopped because I couldn't get it all in the picture otherwise. Although I guess since I don't actually own Photoshop, I should maybe say it has been Paint Shop Proed. Or something. Whatever--here's what the sign said:

(Side note: Very reminiscent of the "deformed man" sign, don't you think?)

So remember, if you come to Shanghai and are either a psycho, a drunkard, or--God forbid--a psycho drunkard, don't get into a cab without your guardian! Of course, how the cab driver would know a psycho just be looking at him or her--assuming they weren't either foaming at the mouth or wearing a fully-buckled straight jacket--I have no idea, but it would be fun to see a cab driver throw someone out of the cab for being, well, a psycho. Or at least try to. Maybe next time we go somewhere I'll scream and spit a lot, possibly even wear one of those Hannibal Lector style faceguards, just to see what happens. Maybe. But, you know, probably not.

See Sign language 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 for more.

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