If you’re anything like me, you became fed up with the crush of people on Beijing public transit long ago, as well as cab drivers who drive right past your outstretched hand, and Didi drivers who couldn’t find Tiananmen Square without Baidu maps. Yeah, I’m over all that. I’m a cyclist now.
I like the freedom cycling provides in a city where there are over 5 million vehicles and where daily subway ridership hovers around 10 million people. There is a trade-off though involved in going with two-wheel transit over trains, buses, and cars. The more miles you log on a bike, the greater the probability that you will eventually face some sort of cycling-related calamity. At some point, you are going to cause an accident, or someone is going to cause you to wipe out. Either way, you’re faced with a few scenarios in the aftermath:
1) You’re hurt, and it’s not your fault.
2) Somebody else is hurt, and it’s not your fault.
3) Somebody else is hurt, and it is your fault.
4) Nobody’s hurt, but for some reason, you’re at fault and on the hook for a big cash payout.
According to the scenario, you find yourself in, use and listen for some of the following phrases to ensure the aftermath of an accident goes smoothly.
Scenarios 1, 2 & 3: That fellow cyclist on your left decides to make a right-hand turn while you’re both traveling into an intersection at high speed. You swerve. You break. You go down. Or maybe you’re the inconsiderate human who decided to cut off a fellow cyclist. Whether or not it is you who is hurt, keep in mind that according to Chinese law it is almost always the bigger vehicle that is at fault in these situations. Use and listen for some of the following phrases if you find yourself in this kind of pickle. (Also use your best judgment and do the right thing if you are at fault.)
Please dial 120 (first aid/ambulance). Please dial 110 (police).
Qǐng dǎ 120 (jiù hù chē). Qǐng dǎ 110 (jǐng chá）
Call an ambulance immediately.
Kuài jiào jiù hù chē.
Come to the crossing at Wangjing East Road at once. There was an accident. Someone needs first aid.
Kuài dào wàng jīng dōng lù lù kǒu lái. Zhè lǐ chū chē huò le. Yǒu rén xū yào qiǎng jiù.
Help! I’m hurt!
Jiù mìng! Wǒ shòu shāng le!
Are you injured?
Nǐ shòu shāng le ma?
What’s wrong with you? Where does it hurt? Is it serious?
你怎么了。 你哪儿疼？ 严重吗？
Nǐ zěnme le. Nǐ nǎ ér téng? Yán zhòng ma?
This was my fault. I’ll take you to the hospital.
Zhè shì wǒ de cuò. Wǒ huì dài nín qù yī yuàn.
You’re bleeding. You need to be checked by a doctor.
Nǐ zài liú xuè, nǐ xū yào kàn yīshēng.
You need to take me to the hospital.
Nín xū yào dài wǒ qù yī yuàn.
I don’t have insurance.
Wǒ méi yǒu bǎo xiǎn.
This was not my fault
Zhè bú shì wǒ de cuò.
You cut me off!
Nǐ jiā sāi ér le!
We almost collided.
Wǒ men chà diǎn ér zhuàng shàng le.
You should be more careful when cycling.
Qízìháng chē hái dé duō jiā xiǎo xīn.
You have the bigger vehicle.
Nǐ de chē gèng dà.
Can I give you 300 kuai? Is that enough?
Kěyǐ gěi nín sān bǎi kuài qián ma? gòu le ma?
Scenario 4: In the unfortunate event of someone seeing a seemingly innocuous encounter with you, the cyclist, as an opportunity to extort you for everything you have (perhaps you startled the ayi who just stepped off the curb and into the bike lane when you brushed past her perm) you can use some of the following phrases to defuse (or possibly inflame) the situation. Often, if you insist on going to the hospital, the situation may resolve itself, because the person accusing you of wrongdoing knows they will end up footing the bill if nothing is wrong.
If you are crossing the road you should pay attention to traffic.
Guò mǎ lù de shí hòu, nǐ yīng gāi zhù yì jiāo tōng.
I have done nothing wrong.
Wǒ méi zuò cuò.
You are totally fine.
Nǐ kěndìng méi shì.
You did that on purpose.
Nǐ shì gùyì de.
I don’t have any cash.
Wǒ zhè ér méi yǒu xiàn jīn.
This is a scam.
Zhè shì piàn rén de gōu dāng.
Let go of me.
Ràng wǒ zǒu ba.
I insist we go to the hospital.
Wǒ jiān chí yào wǒmen yī qǐ qù yīyuàn.