Friday, February 18, 2011

Slow Boat to China

I’ve been known to pick on the Japanese a few times in my blog, but I've left the Chinese alone. I mean, how could I possibly pick on China, a country that has been transformed from a nation of poverty to become the world's largest exporting nation? In fact,  I have nothing but admiration for the Chinese!

Sure, there's that foot binding thing. I could definitely pick them for that. Can you imagine, wrapping your feet in tight cloths for years with the goal of keeping them no longer than 3 or 4 inches? In the name of beauty? I thought plucking my eyebrows hurt! And I don't know about you, but I don't see anything beautiful about these feet!  (My apologies to anyone who may have been eating.)

At any rate, my daughter Kimmy had to make an unplanned trip to New York City this weekend and was trying to find a reasonable flight. There were no e-savers and the last minute prices were off the charts. It looked like this trip was going to take a major bite out of Kimmy's shoe fund.

Until we heard about the China Bus.

For those of you who have never heard of the China Bus, it's an overnight bus that travels between Columbia and New York City, delivering its primarily Chinese patrons door-to-door for only $50. It seemed like a no-brainer, in light of the alternative ($500+ airline prices).

 Until I did some research.   (OK, I'll admit it.  This is not a real picture of the China Bus.  But I like it better the real one and it's my blog.)

Apparently, the Motor Carrier Safety Administration has serious concerns with the China Bus' (a.k.a. Sky Express) safety record. They scored 98.62 out of 100 in a recent safety inspection. That sounded like a pretty darn good score to me until I realized that the higher the number the worse the score. (In other words, if 100 things could go wrong on their inspection, 98.62 of them did.)

David Wong, the operating manager of Sky Express, said the low rating stemmed from an incident in Durham where a bus driver hit a pedestrian. Oops.

I guess you're safer on the bus than walking in front of it.

It seems the drivers are very friendly. Of course, they'd be more enjoyable if you understood Chinese.

When Kimmy asked me if I'd go with her on the China Bus to New York I said I couldn't. I had a meeting on Monday I couldn't get out of. I told her, "I really wish I could go with you."

She said, "I know, I'd like your company, too."

"I just want to blog about the China Bus," I said. 

Then, realizing that I may have hurt her feelings I quickly added, "and I'd like your company".

Somehow, Kimmy managed to find a $200 student airline ticket so she won't be taking the China Bus.

It's probably better that way. There are just some things that children should not experience before their parents have a chance to. Traveling to Europe is an obvious example. 

And riding the China Bus is a close second.  Especially if you are a nerdling blogger.

No comments:

Post a Comment