Tricia Wang comes up with some really useful tips to get around in Wuhan, and possibly other cites in China. In her weblog she claims this is valid for all rather busy, messy cities, but we cannot imagine you need these tips in Shanghai or Beijing.

  • In Wuhan, taxi drivers will scream at you. 50% of the time they aren’t really screaming – they’re just talking. The other 50% of the time they really are screaming at you. It’s hard to tell the difference. Taking a cab in Wuhan will make you miss the civil cab drivers in Beijing.
  • Cab drivers will not answer back in putonghua; they answer back in the local Wuhan dialect.  I’ve learned how to speak conversational Wuhan dialect and understand them.
  • If you are going a short distance that may be a 10-15 minute walk but need to get there as soon as possible, don’t actually tell the cab driver because they won’t find it worth their time to take you. Tell them that you need to go somewhere farther and then pretend to get a phone call that requires you to get off the cab asap.
  • If after running an errand at Walmart or Carrefour and you are carrying stuff like big house stuff or lots of grocery bags, no cab will stop for you. You must hide your stuff behind a car and only carry 1-2 bags in your hand, flag a cab down, open the door and put one bag in the car, and then ask them to open the trunk.

More about transportation in Wuhan, on her website.

Tricia Wang is a sociologist researching how migrants are using cellphones and computers in urban China. She is also a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need her at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch.



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