Sunday, July 6, 2008


No, no, not the commodified Marxist leader (I wonder how Chinese people conceptualize him...project!)--that's Mandarin for bicycle.

After the dreadful discovery of my broken Touch, I needed something to perk me up. I was already planning on buying a bike, and traveled to several rumored "used bike" spots (where one can purchase a stolen bike for practically nothing), with no luck (one was actually swarmed with police cars--a sign of China's attempt to "clean up" in preparation for its greatest two weeks ever). So, I took a trip out (and I mean out--it was a 25RMB cab trip) to the large bicycle market on the outskirts of town. There were hundreds of bikes, both electric and traditional, for every type of man, woman, and child.

I settled upon the below bike, as it was a traditional men's structure (most men ride what we would label women's bikes), pretty, light, automatically-geared (it changes based on how fast I'm going; is this normal?) and reasonably priced (with a basket, lock, and tune-up, it came to less than $60).

Pigeon! Hello friend!

I then spent all day riding it, and have a sore bum to prove it. I discovered so many places that deserve more examination. I ate at a Vietnamese restaurant, bought a really cheap MP3 player to get me through until I figure out how to proceed on that front, and had a delightful day overall.

Also, I happened upon this:

I cannot figure out how I made it through the last three months--nay, the last 6 years--without knowing how amazing the bicycle is as a form of transportation. It's a wind-in-your-greasy-hair feeling that a convertible car can only mimic. I will never live without a bicycle again.

Well, until it gets stolen.

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