I’ve been wanting to post an update these last several days, but it’s a good thing I waited. The big news last week? My faithful bike, Purple Forever, was stolen. Yep, for my first time, I became a victim of theft in China. Granted, I was a total dumbass: I left my bike at the metro station, went all about town looking for goddamn bacon, cabbed home, and then forgot about Purple until late the next day. On top of that, I neglected to secure her with my usual double locks. You see, in recent weeks, my cable lock started jamming on me and rather than get a new one for a few bucks, I thought I’d be able to take it home, clean it up, and return it to good use. Problem was, I never got around to it, so Purple Forever sat at the station overnight with only one lame lock. Fucking A! So I was pretty upset about it, not so much by the monetary loss ($25 USD), but just by my stupidity and well, this weird feeling of violation. John was pretty cool about it: for weeks he’d been talking about getting me an electric bike: they’re cheap here (compared to the US), SH is really flat and well-suited for them, and I’ve always quasi-secretly wanted one. So I got one a few days after the abduction. I have to say, I feel pretty damn cool zipping around town at 20 mph (top speed) on my silver boogaloo. Of course, now I DEFINITELY won’t get any exercise since all I gotta do is flip my right wrist. The electic moped is just that easy.
Securing it is another story. Now that I’m totally paranoid, I u-lock the front tire, add a huge heavy chain lock, and then use another chain lock in the back. And I secure the bike to a railing. Ain’t no way I’m getting robbed again, man.
As I was saying, it’s a good thing I waited a little with this posting, because we got robbed again last night. John (on his bike) and I (on boogaloo) rode to downtown XuJiaHui for some tea and laptop time (outside of our noisy apartment– they’re renovating upstairs). Well, the evening was going great: we found this comfy new cafe/late-night diner. That should have been a sign. When we got outside and walked towards our bikes, Merida (John’s bike) was gone. He locked the front wheel and the back wheel, but I guess the mistake was that he didn’t secure it to a railing. I dunno. We were totally floored, because we were in this new ritzy part of town, where things were well-lit. Fucking A! And Merida wasn’t rusty and crappy like Purple. Merida was actually a quality, hardy bike. So two bikes gone in one fricking week. Now we don’t know what we’re going to do. The e-bike is nice, but sometimes you just want a normal bike to get you to places nearby, you know? John and I used to ride our bikes all over town during the warm seasons… the e-bike certainly doesn’t give you any kind of workout and if he gets another bike, it’s gonna be weird to “go biking” when one of us is on the moped and the other is trying to keep up peddling. Oh well, he’ll have awhile to decide since his biz trip is coming up soon.
In other news, I’ve been crazy busy. Last week I picked up two new clients, two 8-year old kids and a Taiwanese woman. Looks like I’ll be trekking all over town again. Thankfully, I’ve got the new bike. I’m also networking a lot– trying to apply what I learned from Leil Lowndes. Today, I attended a ping pong meetup. Only two dudes showed up– two guys from Madrid. They were really good players, but they toned down their moves so I could play a little. Really nice guys. In general, I feel like I’m making progress with the socializing, although a bunch of people I have emailed (new contacts in the States) have yet to reply. Dunno what that’s about.
Oh, I designed my StarPups Shanghai business cards last week– all on my own. Hehe. I originally wanted to wait for John to create them using Adobe Illustrator, but he’s been so swamped with work lately. So, I made it in Publisher, then converted it to PDF, imported it into Illustrator, and exported it into every possible file the printers could want. I actually didn’t know which format they needed… Anyway, they turned out great! No Chinese, but oh well. It just has the URL, my name, and phone numbers. People get it.
So the American Women’s Club of Shanghai is holding a book drive and bake sale next month to raise money for an migrants’ school in the city. I plan to bake dog treats to further promote my site. Not sure where all of this is going, but I just want to drive traffic and try to meet as many dog peeps as possible.
Oh, I’m now the webmaster for LifeLine Shanghai, a nonprofit that operates an information and support helpline for expats. I did a site redesign for them last week and now we’re in the process of updating content before it goes live. It’s been fun learning to use cascading style sheets (CSS).
Well it’s pretty late now. From here on out, I expect to be very busy with class prep again. New clients always require huge time investment. I guess the construction workers upstairs will start bulldozing around 7am. Good way for me to get an early start on the day.