Today, the front page of Information Times, a Guangzhou based
newspaper, printed a big photo of a taxi driver in Guangzhou displaying
his newly-acquired counter-terrorist equipment: a whistle. According to the newspaper, over thirty thousand taxi drivers in
Guangzhou have signed up to volunteer in a "Safe Olympic Monitor"
campaign. Volunteer monitors, who are mostly bus and taxi drivers, are
required to report any suspicious incidents to the police immediately.
Each of them was issued a whistle so they can blow it as well as call
the 110 emergency number. The volunteer driver monitors are also required to "blow the
whistle" on other taxi drivers who "don't look in a stable mental
state." The authorities offer financial rewards to encourage such
If whistles were blown on cab drivers who 'don't look in a stable mental state,' in Beijing, we'd all go deaf.� Last Friday, the government issued yet another xin guiding (new regulation)–that all taxi drivers wear a uniform.� The designated digs are navy blue cargo pants, bright yellow shirts, and black/yellow neckties.� While they look 'smart,' it's obvious that the cabbies are not thrilled with this turn of events.� I've taken an informal poll, which consisted of asking 5 drivers, and they all told me with much passion that they do not like the uniforms.� "I'm a guy who only wears cotton," one cabbie told me.� "How do they expect me to drive around all day in these clothes that are not cotton?"�
The more he talked, the less stable his mental state became.� Too bad I didn't have a whistle.