I always used to say I wanted to live in a place where I didn’t have to depend on a car but could rely on my feet and public transportation.
Well, amazingly that has been true for over 5 1/2 years now since we moved to north China.
As we have been filling out tons of forms and budgets related to our adoption and grant applications, it is a beautiful thing to put down “0” for car payment, for gasoline, and for maintenance.
Well, maintenance is a few dollars per month, which goes to guys like this when we need new ball bearings, rims, pedals, brakes, child seats and stuff like that since they all rust apart and fall off on the bumpy roads.
A plethora of old screws in a wooden box fit just about anything you need fixed.
Old soda bottles squirt wd-40 (or something else in the petroleum category) on chains, and wooden pumps that never die pump air.
A couple of short stools are often occupied by other seniors catching up on the news of the day.
The bike repair guys are our friends, and we pass them nearly every day on the way to work or school with the kids.
One guy has been keeping the neighborhood on their wheels for over 40 years, according another gray-haired one next to him selling books laid out on the sidewalk.
He and his wife always have a cheerful smile even as they warm their hands on a small fire on those mornings where the temps dip below zero (Fahrenheit).
As long as you don’t run over anyone or get slammed by a car door opening in the bike lane, you’re good to go.