The subway in Beijing was extremely crowded due to high traffic and congestion. Shown here is a group headed to the pearl market. To save time, people pack in the cars and there is even a professional pusher at times to help shove people into the cars.


We were all smiling in this

We were all smiling in this picture but really we were kind of stressed!  We were jam packed into the subway car and were being constantly pushed by the Chinese people.  I worked in DC for five years after undergrad and was only ever on a metro train this crowded a handful of times.  In the states, or at least in DC, if the subway was noticeably crowded only a couple of people ever attempted to push their way on, not thirty!  It was unreal!!

The concept of space and time

The concept of space and time are so different in China.  There are so many people everywhere that you constantly are having to fight for every inch.  Riding the subway is no different.  There is no space and if you're not willing to push and fight for your space you won't be able to get where you're going.  For us as tourists this was kind of fun.  Every day it might drive me crazy.  


Its amazing how long it could take to get such short distances in China. The subway was the one way to avoid the brutal traffic, but then you have to brave the professional pushers. At one point, I was squeeze so tight into a subway I was not sure I could breath. Yet I found the experience very entertaining. That being said, doing that as a daily commute would be miserable. 


Subways are always crowded but at rush hour times, they were insane.  the professional pushers were my personal favorites, as it is almost unbelievable that during rush hour, people are paid to literally push travelers into subway cars.  apparently nobody waits for the next train!