Case of the Missing Parking Pass

Case of the Missing Parking Pass

Three times now, I’ve lost my ebike parking pass… each time, in just a matter of 3 hours. You see, at school, when you enter campus on an ebike or moped, the gate guards hand you a parking pass. When you leave campus, you have to turn in the pass. I guess the idea is that anyone leaving campus on a bike must have also come in on a bike, so the pass vouches for that. Well, these last several days, Shanghai has been unseasonably warm (high 70s and 80s). Since I didn’t wear a jacket, I just slipped the pass into my back jean pocket. From the gate to my class, I rode maybe two minutes. Locked the bike up and went to class. Three hours later, the damn pass was gone. This happened not once, not twice, but THREE times! The first two times, I was wearing the wrong jeans. The back pockets were too shallow. I suspect that maybe when I bent down to lock everything up, the pass slipped out?? I don’t know. I backtracked, went to my classrooms, searched everywhere. Yesterday, I wore a different pair of jeans and experienced the same, odd problem. I’m wondering now if the thing was pickpocketed! I know, sounds mad but it’s just so bizarre. I was only in one classroom the other day. If the pass had fallen out, wouldn’t it have been in the room or at least somewhere along the way? Who would bother to pick something like that up? Regardless, losing this silly pass was boggling and annoying. The guard gave me some crap about it. Then I had to show my id and bike license. The second time, I was so embarassed, I didn’t want to explain the same situation to the same guard, so I went to another gate. The third time, I went to the third and final gate. This one was the main gate, and so I was required to register the bike and all my id numbers with the office.

Weird, huh? What the hell? It’s not like I’m running around doing crazy movements. Why and how did the card slip out? In my attempts to solve the case of the missing pass, I even tried recreating the situation. I put my transportation/metro card in my back pocket. Rode the bike, locked the bike, went up stairs. The damn thing stayed in my pocket.

Well whatever, I’m not letting this happen again. Today I went to school prepared. I dug up an old plastic badgeholder (the kind that hangs around the neck). Since I already wear my cell phone on a lanyard around my neck (because I lost my cell phone months ago), I wasn’t about to “clutter” the look. So, my solution is to tie the badgeholder to my backpack. Easy access and much more secure. I tested this out today, and it works like a charm. I pull through the gate, the guard hands me the pass, I grab for the string and slide the card in… all without having to stop the bike and fidget for stuff. Three hours later, my pass was still there. Thank goodness!

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