When we are travelling to other countries, we are so unaware of certain laws and regulations. Ones that can get us into massive trouble. For instance, in China, there are boundaries that travellers cannot cross. These boundaries are the ones that the North Koreans cross to escape the country’s communist regime. There was an incident that happened in March 2009. Laura Ling went to China and without knowing crossed one of these unknown boundaries. She was there to report on the North Koreans who were attempting to escape. She was not just taken and locked up. She was violently attacked by the soldiers that caught her. They were taken to a North Korean prison and were held captive there for 140 days. Laura’s sister, Lisa Ling (The Oprah show correspondent), fought to get her sister back home safely. Laura and her colleague even had a guide that was taking them around and making sure that they were safe. Their guid seemed to be very aware of all of the surroundings up until that point. There were no signs up anywhere to be seen, making it impossible for anyone to know that the area was forbidden. The two innocent women were kicked in the face by the gaurds and they were dragged accross the frozen river back into North Korea after running back to China. Laura was hit in the head by one of the gaurds with a rifel and she blacked out. Laura’s sister tried for ages to get them released, but there was no use. They eventaully were released, but after 140 days of the two of them being stuck in a 5-by-6 cell. This just goes to show how unfair certain governments are. Two innocent people were beaten and taken into captive for crossing over a non existent border line.
More of the story below:
As we all know, driving in countries that are foreign to us can be extremely difficult. This being because street signs may be in different languages that we cannot understand or pedestrians not having the right of way while crossing the street. In Canada, pedestrians are always given the right of way when it comes to traffic control. We have specific cross-walks for them to cross on with lights that notify drivers that someone is crossing. In China, however, that is not the case. A friend of mine was on a tour bus in China driving to their next sight when they hit a man on a bicycle that was pulling watermelons in a wagon. The man on the bike was ok, but the melons were not. They were smashed all over the road and the rider was very displeased. He was cursing at the bus driver and making a big scene. Everyone on the bus thought that it was normal for him to be so angry about the situation so they all gave him money to replace the melons that he had lost. The man was probably making a living off of those melons. Little did they know that he did not have the right of way in that situation and it was technically his fault. It does not seem like it would be a big problem, but to us, we just don’t understand. We are always giving the pedestrians the right of way so when an incident like that occurs, the bus driver seems like the bad gay. This could be related to langue in that the rules are not shared. It may not be in grammar, but it sure was a misunderstanding. When you travel to China, always remember that even though the pedestrians do not have the right of way, keep a close eye out for them and try not to ruin their watermelons.