Pedal Practice

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Lorena trying her hand at DJing earlier that night

After pestering an old Chinese rickshaw driver¬†(who spoke no English)¬†during a night out, Lorena and I convinced him to let us pedal his bicycle and carriage down the street. I was able to get an awesome video of onlookers cheering and the driver chasing after her, but sadly there’s no proof of me navigating the bike. You’ll just have to take my word for it.

I must give those drivers kudos–the bike is much harder to get going than you’d ever expect!

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Rickshaws Are The New Taxi

Monday, September 3, – Friday, September 7, 2012

My office building

This week launched my normal working schedule. Everyone at the office was very friendly and seemed to get along well with one another. I especially appreciate little quirks like their knowledge of Mexican restaurants hidden in hutongs or that they take juggling breaks during the day. Over half of the office speaks English while only a few are solely Chinese speakers. Most are bilingual, which is impressive.

As irony would have it, I had cracked my computer screen a day before my first day of work. My new boss was understanding and told me several interns before me had also done the same thing before their first days. Maybe it’s a company curse?

After I had set up an appointment at Apple, I had to navigate my way there. As advised by my co-workers, I opted to take a cab. I had heard that cab drivers don’t like to pick up foreign-looking people, but I had no idea so many would pass me by with empty backseats. After several drivers had clearly seen me and waved me away I became frustrated.

Beside me in the bike lane was a man on a bike pulling a two-seat trailer. We made eye contact and I thought, oh, what the heck.

After crawling onto the little bench behind his bike we took off. Besides feeling absolutely ridiculous on this thing, I began to sense it probably wasn’t the safest mode of transportation. At several points during the ride I genuinely thought we would crash. I cannot even begin to put into words how severely he swerved through traffic, so I have posted a video to fully explain the ride. I thought I might as well capture what could have been my last minutes on earth.

Toward the end of my ride, I noticed several pairs of men in business suits taking rickshaws rides as well. Evidently rickshaws are a typical mode of transportation in Beijing.