Chongqing’s traffic is unpredictable. Cars and trucks freewheel around pedestrians. Carts stacked high with produce do tottering loops. All is constant flux and motion, heedless of street signs: the ceaseless ebb of red, the flow of green.
According to one recent news report, a 23-year-old traffic cop named Zhang Jun devised his own solution to this problem, if it is a problem at all. The kid kept a red cap with him. When a pedestrian violated the law, he forced the delinquent to stop, put on the red cap and wave a small yellow flag. The intention was to draw attention to traffic laws. The violating pedestrian would be made to perform the cap-and-wave routine until another violating pedestrian came by to take his place.
Chongqing gets slick and hard in early morning rain. Bang-bang porters trot a two-step up the hills, endlessly delivering. Tree roots come gnarled and hard over the concrete sidewalks. People carry cheap, plastic umbrellas through the drizzle but invariably the extremities become damp and drip-stained.
A nearby apartment building is all broken blue-toned windows and hanging laundry, further decaying in the rain. Next thing a blue Jaguar comes coasting and honking down the street. I like Chongqing in the morning.