Sunday, 22 November 2009

My Worst Nightmare

Ok. Maybe "worst nightmare" is a bit overly dramatic, but something has happened that I have been worried about for years now.

I think it is pretty common knowledge that bikes are EVERYWHERE in China. Pedal bikes, electric bikes, bikes with carts...they are all over the place. Outside of big stores and shopping areas there are usually rows and rows of bikes in the parking lots. The Carrefour where I go shopping is no different.
(note: this is not a picture of the Carrefour parking lot, it's just to give you an idea of what I mean.)

The bikes often are not attached to bike racks but rather have wheel locks. They are also often crowded together cheek by jowl (or pedal to pedal I suppose). I don't know if it's just me, but for years this bike organization has always looked forebodingly similar to this:

This Saturday I left Carrefour with my purse and two bags filled with groceries in hand and tried to squeeze my bike out from between two others.

And it happened.

Luckily, I only knocked over 5 bikes. The 6th in line shuddered dangerously but held it's ground. Unluckily, one of the bikes was a motor bike with an alarm the immediately started blaring it's protest. Further unluckily, I was right by the entrance so I had a crowd. I quickly righted all of the bikes, jammed my groceries in my basket and pedaled out of there as fast as I could.

It could have been worse. Not even ten minutes later as I was turning the corner on my street, I passed a man looking dejectedly at no less than 9 domino-ed bikes. I think it was the universe's way of telling me not to worry about it too much.

Much love,

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