Stuck in Taxi in Beijing

Stuck in a Taxi

Here is a little video I made in the back of a taxi in Beijing so you can see a fairly typical situation!

Daily Photo – The CNCC

Here is the convention center in Beijing at Dusk. They call it the CNCC. I don’t know what that stands for, but I can guess what two of the C’s mean.

This is a strange thing I have noticed about Beijing. Many people speak in abbreviations. I had many people tell me of the CNCC like it was something I knew perfectly well. I would just end up nodding because when I would ask for what it stood for, they were confused.

“You should go to the CNCC!” they say.

“What’s that?” I ask.

“Oh, you know! It’s the CNCC!” they respond.

The CNCCHere is the convention center in Beijing at Dusk. They call it the CNCC. I don't know what that stands for, but I can guess what two of the C's mean.This is a strange thing I have noticed about Beijing. Many people speak in abbreviations. I had many people tell me of the CNCC like it was something I knew perfectly well. I would just end up nodding because when I would ask for what it stood for, they were confused."You should go to the CNCC!" they say."What's that?" I ask."Oh, you know! It's the CNCC!" they respond.- Trey RatcliffRead the rest and see a video of a fairly typical situation in a Chinese cab here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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  • Susan

    Beautiful photo – wow! It looks huge! I wonder if they are more used to texting so that’s why they use the letters?

  • Ernie Dinkel

    Nice China National Convention Center

  • Michael S. / MDSimages

    I remember the video. LMAO! Nice image too Trey :)

  • Karl

    Nice shot! Yeah.. as Ernie said, it’s the China National Convention Center – you can actually read it on the side of the building in your photo :)

  • http://none louis

    Hi Trey you cannot believe how much I was laughing at you in the cab.When I’m in China I have the same problem but if my wife is with me or on of the chinese aunties then ok. When my better half returns home ill show her so she to can have a good giggle. When some one is on the phone they always say wei “way”as in hallo.Is this from your hotel room as I have yet to see fine weather in China.
    We have been so many times but mind you we always go when it snows as Australia in Perth we get 40 -42 sometimes and that is hot.Nice pic.

  • Kelley Bard

    great video, saw it on google and loved it!
    Photo is beautiful… love the color on the streets, nice long exposure maybe? And awesome sky colors… yay smog, huh? Gives great sunsets, anyways ;)

  • Lin

    Stands for China National Convention Centre, centre as center of course.

    Great shot btw, love it!

  • xeosjens

    :-) So funny
    Did you finally arrive?
    Picture is awesome

  • Alex Sefrin

    lol, can’t stop laughing. Don’t worry, that seems to be a normal situation in Beijing. The problem is that they can’t say ‘I don’t know the way’. When you ask 5 persons and you’ll get 5 different answers. In Beijing this could be a problem because it’s so unbeliveable huge.

    I like the colors of the picture! The sunset matches perfectly with city lights.

  • John Lambert

    That was hilarious. His communication was small grunts and waves. Wasted a half a tank of gas before getting the directions!

  • Leoraul

    Very funny video and awesome picture.

  • Timothy Leung

    Lovely shot! BTW you are very right about the Chinese and abbreviations, they do that even with the Chinese language.

  • Trey Ratcliff

    hehe thanks :)

  • Andrew


    I almost had to replace my keyboard after taking a large swallow of coffee as you began translating his communications. although the final grunt really caused an explosion of coffee out my nose. But… I’m awake now. Thanks for the pick me up.

  • Filip Farag

    I saw the video before on Google+, funny stuff! Beautiful shot, it has that “Trey Ratcliff feeling”, I can’t describe it, but I love it.

  • Big Matty

    I like how you keep talking to the phone even when you know it’s a fax machine on the other end! Hilarious, like it’s your favorite song. Your reactions to him are classic, awesome video Trey! You handled it very well.

  • jon white

    so did he get you to the hotel?!

    This video brought back too many travelling nightmares (including the recent driver from KL Low cost terminal, who decided to capitalise on its distance from kuala lumpur city centre + our newness to the city, by driving us a two hour route into town!)

  • Hans Mast

    My first guess (without reading the comments or Googling or looking closely at the picture) was Chinese National Convention Center.

  • torment

    Why even show him the fax number?

  • Andy Bird

    Excellent city shot – you nailed it again!

  • Jim

    “I can’t speak fax!”

    I’m dying laughing here.

  • Kaz

    I totally sympathize with you Trey, having been in many taxis from the former Beijing airport and the new one. Were you ever in one of those tiny taxis with the cage around the driver who smoked incessantly?

    At least your driver could see. I had one driver who could not see the large chinese characters showing my destination. He kept putting it up to his nose as he was driving! If I could, I would have jumped out.

  • Frank Childress

    Still laughing about the taxi driver .. I’ve spent a lot of time in Beijing and don’t think it ever gets better. Heading back next week so maybe there’s a video in my future.

  • Keith Moyer

    Stunning shot Trey! I love how the street light colors are almost the same as the sunset.

  • Darren N

    ROFL! I think I damn near hurked up a lung laughing so hard…

    For whatever it’s worth, I bet this guy spoke fluent English and he was totally messing with you. They just hate it when we pronounce it Beijing with a soft “j”. It should be pronounced like “bay-Jing”. I’m sure once he heard you pronounce it with a soft “j” he just went into full-on mess-with-Trey mode. “Ahhh… no uh speak-ah Enlglaze”

  • Edwin

    Typical. Had things like that happen to me in China and Taiwan. I always make sure I have the name of the hotel + address and possibly directions written down on a piece of paper and then hold on to that for dear life!

    Saved me more than once

  • Doug

    Hey, Trey, I figured something out a couple of years ago after a lot of frustration. They don’t “think” in terms of maps in China, but also in some other Asian countries. Their conceptual model for the city is more like, “the left market street along the falling branches of the sakura tree temple.” Maps COMPLETELY don’t help, and often the formal modern address doesn’t help much more. You really need to know the Chinese name for the target, and even then, in cities this large, any given taxi driver often won’t know where every (major) target is located. A lot of times, even with the Chinese name, they need to stop and talk to another taxi driver or three. :)

    There are also some who play intentionally dumb with westerners because they just don’t like them. No option but to change taxis.

    Anyway, forget the “maps” that the hotels show on their websites; they never work. If you have the name of the hotel/place at the airport written down, sometimes you can get the taxi dispatcher to tell the driver where to go, but they will rarely read and comprehend.

  • Bill Dodd

    Thank you for sharing the cab driver video. So, much like cab drivers here in the states, then? :)

    Your interaction cracked me up this morning, thanks for the entertainment.

  • Trey Ratcliff

    Thanks everyone…

    Doug – you are probably right about that map-interface thing.

  • Andrew

    I bet his english was absolutely PERFECT when it came time to getting your money. Probably even spoke with a British accent : )

  • Nero Zhang

    Trey,are you going to Shanghai as well?

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