A plush black Mercedes, coming from the opposite direction, cut in front of us, and joined the line of traffic to our right, causing the taxi driver to brake suddenly,
“Fucking wanker” he said
“If you’d have hit him, legally whose fault would it have been?”
“His, of course, the arsehole. Even if I’d hit the rear end it still would have been his fault.”
The Mercedes was still blocking the road, rush hour had just begun.
“The thing is, he thinks he’s all that, just as he’s got a good car. That guy looks down on people with Xiali’s, VWs, taxis. These fucking rich people think they are all that. They just don’t give a fuck about us normal people now.”
“Traditionally, Chinese people were renowned for their modesty.” I said.
“Ha, not anymore. There’s too much distance between us and them now. They think, I’ve got money, you haven’t, so I’m better than you. Like the driver of that car, thinks that car is better, faster, with quicker acceleration than mine, so he just cut me up. It’s probably not even his car.”
“No of course not, its an army car, that guy’s just the driver. Absolutely no respect whatsoever. A couple of weeks ago, I was stuck behind some sleek thing, a Merc, or an Audi or something, it was going really slow. So I overtook it. It must have properly pissed off the driver to be overtaken by a car like my shitty taxi, as he sped up overtook me and pushed me to the side of the road. At the traffic lights, he got out, came over and grabbed my arm, and said ‘Do you know who I am?’ I said, “I don’t care who you are, I’m just driving my car.’ He demanded my details, but luckily the lights changed so I shook his hand off my arm, told him to fuck off, and sped off.”
“Does that happen a lot?”
“Now and then. It’s these bloody army guys mostly. They are so fucking corrupt, them and the Party, every fucking one of them has their snout in the trough.”
“What do you mean?”
“Now and then. It’s these bloody army guys mostly. They are so fucking corrupt, them and the Party, every fucking one of them has their snout in the trough.”
“What do you mean.”
“Take the army for instance, they are so fucking black its unreal.”
“You mean they have connexions with the mafia?”
“Mafia? They are the mafia. Anything bad going on, there is bound to be some soldier behind it somewhere.”
“I didn’t know there was a mafia problem here, I’ve been to some other cities though, where everywhere you go, you can sense the mafia.”
“Well maybe it’s worse in other places, but it’s still bad here. Look, a while ago, a friend of mine got run over by an army car, they were refusing to do anything about it, so his mate got on the phone to the media. When the media turned up, with cameras and everything, the army guys refused to let them shoot, bundled my mate in to their car and sent him off to an army hospital. They wanted to cover the story up, couldn’t have it exposed. The Government officials are just as bad, they don’t give a fuck about anyone, all they care about is lining their own pockets.” He said.
“You mean all of them, surely there must be some good ones?” I said.
“Maybe one! I think the President is a good man, and some of the other top guys, but the ones further down the ladder have no scruples whatsoever. They’re only happy if they’ve got some scam on the go. It’s just too bloody corrupt.” He said.
“Well, in any country, if the elite are too remote from the people for too long, change is bound to happen, sometimes rather more change than the elite would be willing to accept.” I said.
“Ha ha. That’d be the day. There’s probably some good officials, 10% maybe? No that’s still a few percentage points too high! They just need to start caring about the ordinary man and woman.”
“Right, we’re here, just pull up over there.” I said.
He looked around and he said, “Why are you getting out in this shithole, there’s nothing for foreigners to do here?”
“I live over there.” I said pointing some where vaguely behind us.
“So why didn’t you get me to stop there then, why here?”
“Because, that, my friend,” I said, pointing at a dilapidated building, “is a shop.”


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