I got stopped by a police officer on Friday night. I was making an illegal left. He ran out into the middle of the road, narrowly missing getting clipped by the truck I was trying to hide behind as I broke the law. He pulls me over and asks for my “pass-uh-poor”. When I gave it to him, he started speaking to me in Chinese. I indicated that I was sorry, but I don’t understand. He gave me back my passport, said “Ni ting bu dong Chong wen”, and walked away. I still made it around the corner quicker than if I had done a standard “chinese” left.
So my question to you is: Does this happen often? Is it best, even if you are fluent in Chinese, to just shrug? Sure seems that way.