Chinese Checkers

No, I am not referring to the board game: Chinese Checkers

Chinese Checkers

What I am talking about is more of a real-life situation played out daily on the streets of Shanghai – and it does happen to involve Chinese people (and Westerners).

Aim of the game:

Getting a taxi despite all odds, while trying to remain polite and civilised and well-mannered.


  1. Busy time of day – preferably rush hour, people leaving the office, dinner time, etc.
  2. Maximum number of people trying to hail down a taxi – especially fun when a huge crowd of wanna-be taxi passengers are gathering in the same place at the same time – outside an office park, a restaurant, etc
  3. Minimal number of taxis for hire – choose the taxi-drivers’ dinner hour for best results.
  4. Pick a rainy day with howling wind and even some sleet or snow for an extra challenge.

How to play:

  1. Stand for a moment amidst the throng of wanna-be passengers.
  2. Get frustrated that everyone else seems more adept at pushing and shoving (more practice!) and less concerned about getting up everyone else’s noses
  3. Start sidling off in the OPPOSITE direction to where you want to go – the direction is very important.
  4. Try not to attract anyone’s attention – you don’t want others to realise that the game has started.
  5. “Hop” over/around each group of players that have already moved away from the crowd and have started new gatherings further up the street
  6. If necessary, “hop” all the way to the next block, around the corner, two intersections away – strategy is very important at this point.
  7. It doesn’t matter at all if you are moving further and further away from your destination – just “hop” along until you have bypassed all the opposition.
  8. Walk in the road so that your view of the oncoming traffic is not obstructed in any way – this gives you and your future driver a better opportunity to bond before you wave him down.
  9. Eye contact and initial engagement is vital to determine right of passage.

First one to get into a cab is the WINNER!


2 Responses to “Chinese Checkers”

  1. May 4, 2012 at 18:49

    Funny post Dawn, have enjoyed them all….. still no idea on the “date night?”

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