Tuesday, October 17, 2006
good-bye my friend
If you every have the chance to come to Beijing, you will certainly notice the bikes. There are probably a few million of them here. It's a great, all be it a bit dangerous, mode of transportation. The second thing you will notice is the condition of these bikes. They all appear to be about 20-years-old. They are dirty and rusty. Sometimes parts are missing. I have seen people riding bikes with flat tires. Sure, there are some people that can't afford a new bike (myself included), but certainly not everyone. The question perplexed me: Why do all these bikes look like they were picked out of a junk yard? Well, I eventually got wind of the answer. . .the uglier the bike, the less likely it is to get stolen. Some people even suggest trying to mud about your bike a bit. Make it look nice and dirty.
As for me, I took the plunge and bought my bike back in March for a cool 100 kuai (about $12). She was no beauty, but compared to her peers, I'd give her a 7 out of 10. She was silver, slightly scratched, and had a convinent little basket on the front. I wasn't too worried about someone trying to swipe her. But I guess I should of been, because today she was taken from me. Yes, she was stolen.
I guess it was just a matter of time. Pretty much everyone I know has a story of something being stolen from them. I've heard of people's purses and pockets being slashed so that everything falls out from the bottom without them knowing it. One of my classmates at BLCU had ALL her clothes taken from her dorm. Zhao Ming's mother had an unfortunate incident when someone snatched her purse and ran.
If I'm making Beijing sound like a dangerous place, it's not. While there are a lot of pickpockets and theifs out their, I can comfortably walk home late at night. I always feel safe, but I do have to keep a close eye on my purse.