Year Two


Bye bye, bike 

Bike theft in Tianjin is inevitable. You, yourself, have fallen victim to thievery. Regardless of where you park – on campus, or at the grocery store – the outcome remains the same. After having several bikes stolen, you have no recourse but to borrow your classmate’s bike. After locking the bike to a diminutive tree, you return a few hours later – only to discover that someone has attempted to steal the bike, and broken the lock. You try to insert your keys at various angles as if trying to crack a safe. But, alas, you must resort to lifting the bike over the tree. An old man, standing mutely in the distance, watches you trying to “steal” back your own bike. After freeing the bike from the tree, you drag it into the streets with the lock still attached. The old man questions you about the possession of the bike, but you nonchalantly continue your mission. Instead of dragging your bike a mile back to campus, you try to hail a taxi. After several failed attempts, an unsuspecting driver stops to pick you up. You tell him to pop the trunk, and throw your bike in the back. You slip on your aviator sunglasses, slowly look at the driver, and scream ganjin zou ba (similar to step on it!) The driver, bewildered and beguiled, slams his foot on the gas pedal, and  you speed off like escaped convicts. From the rearview mirror, you see the same old man’s jaw drops as he desperately searches for an explanation.

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