Directed by
Jason Reid
Produced by

The Game of Death: The art of crossing a street in China!

The Game of Death!

Step right up and play The Game of Death!

I saw my opening. I pedaled hard and weaved left, then back to the right…Hard on the brakes as a scooter wiped by, then back on the pedal hard. Plenty of room as a car passes behind me. Well the left is done…now for the right. A couple of mopeds, a three-wheeled bike, and a red car. Piece of cake.

Just another day in China!

Just another day on the crazy streets of China!

I roll out as the mopeds  go by, then hard on the pedal again. I have tons of time as I go in front of the red car….Then I see him pop out from behind the red car. I’m looking down the barrel of a late model VW taxi and he has his foot in it. I smile and think, “He’s got me…Well played sir, well played.” I pedal hard out of the seat. It’s a race for the sidewalk and he’s drifting my way with his horn blaring. One final pedal and a little lean. He misses me by inches…and I think he’s laughing! Pretty standard really. There is definitely an art to crossing the street here. It’s a game of inches and timing. I honestly don’t think they want to hit you, but they want to see how close they can get.



As a 6’2 skinny white guy, I stand out a little bit over here (as we all do) and not to mention riding a bike with big red panniers.I think they just want to welcome you by scaring the crap out you with a huge truck. But you find yourself getting used to it and embracing it….It becomes a game to see how close you come or you see a hole in traffic and you say, “I can make that.”

In the beginning a rule to live by was do what the Chinese do. If you are crossing the street on foot and you see a Chinese person crossing the same street, get in that person’s pocket. However, after awhile you get the timing down. As the intersections get crazier, stay with the Chinese. They play this game everyday!

Reidster crossing the street.

Reidster crossing the street.

2,047 Responses to “The Game of Death: The art of crossing a street in China!”

  1. ZenMaster Says:

    You don’t want to get “Ranched”, thats for sure. Ranch . . .ranch . . . ranch . . . RancherStyleeee

  2. Grand China Buffet Says:

    I honestly think most people go here for the crab legs and dessert. I know I do. Unfortunately, there seems to always be people at buffets that have what I call “buffet mentality”. They go in, and, thinking that they’re gonna starve, they’ll take as much food as possible and not leave any for anyone else. C’mon! Who really needs to take 2 plates piled high with crab legs? What about everyone else waiting in line? The wait staff is attentive, talking to customers and refilling beverages. I go at least once every 3 months or so, mostly to “catch up” with friends. Don’t go on Friday or Saturday night unless you like noise though.

Man Zou is a common phrase in Mandarin. It is more of a philosophy than anything. Man Zou literally translates to "Walk Slow."

"Slow and steady wins the race," they say. This is at the heart of the meaning of Man Zou. Walk slowly and you won't fall. Act carefully and you won't go wrong. A slow walker is faster than someone who walks fast but always has to stop and rest. Persistence is important in learning or doing anything.

To explain a little more in depth, read this quote from The Challenge of Trekking in China by Kyle Acierno:

"I recently underwent the most thorny, intricate, and demanding trek of my life. China is no walk in the park. The county is extremely diverse, and with diversity comes complexity. There is no smooth road laid for backpackers and attempting to do anything or get anywhere can be incredibly arduous...I really needed a break and I didn't know where I would be next. I sat down to a plate of rice noodles and peanuts. A hardy meal for a hardy man. A giant of a woman served me, but with her giant body came a giant heart. With a quick phrase that I have become accustomed to, she filled me with self-assurance that I needed for the rest of my trip. ?Man Zou!? she shouted with a big smile on her face. This literally translates to ?Walk Slow?. To me this means more then just ?be careful.? To me this means take the time to see the wonders of life. The power it gave me changed the rest of my trip. From then on everything went smoothly...I learned a lot from this Trek. I learned the beauty that exists just off the beaten track. I learned that anything amazing takes time. I learned just how much you could learn from people without even using language...By taking the time to notice all the small things in life you can really appreciate who, where, and what you are. Patience, persistence, and practice makes perfect."