me in the piazza

I'm a writer, publishing both as SJ Rozan and, with Carlos Dews, as Sam Cabot. (I'm Sam, he's Cabot.) Here you can find links to my almost-daily blog posts, including the Saturday haiku I've been doing for years. BUT the blog itself has moved to my website. If you go on over there you can subscribe and you'll never miss a post. (Miss a post! A scary thought!) Also, I'll be teaching a writing workshop in Italy this summer -- come join us!
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Competitive sports

Driving and crossing the street here fall into this category. The best insider information I received when I first arrived was from my friend Andy, husband of Anne-Marie, who told me that all over China, a green pedestrian light only means cars have to stop along the perpendicular street, where their light is red. Bikes don't have to stop at all, and buses, though not allowed to go straight, can make turns in either direction and from any lane. So a green light doesn't mean you're actually safe, it just means you can go if you're brave, smart and quick.

And that's where there's a light at all. Mostly, there's not. Then every person and vehicle is on his, her, or its own. We've learned to stick with the oldest people. If you're lucky, someone will be pushing a wheelchair and you walk right next to them. What you do NOT do is run. You don't change your pace; cars, buses, bikes, and donkey carts are gauging exactly how close they can cut it with you and with the people around you. If you speed up, slow down, and generally dodge, you mess up everybody's choreography.

I remember reading somewhere that whenever a country hosts the Olympics they get to add a sport. Maybe China should consider Traffic Maneuvers. They could have both required figures, and free form, just like skating. I don't know how they'd fare against other Asian countries -- I hear the Thais are experts -- but they'd blow the West away.

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