Archive for August, 2010

Installation Instructions

August 27, 2010

When I arrived back in China it was dark, but not dark enough for me not to notice someone had nicked the saddle from the missus’ electric bike. But I had a heavy bag to lug up five flights of stairs and I decided it could wait until the following morning. After all, I reasoned, even if both mountain bikes were off the road, there was still my trusty old Chinese bike leaning up against the wall next to the saddle-less electric bike.


Customer Service

August 26, 2010

A couple of days before my trip back to the UK, I went out for a ride on the bike. Because of summer temperatures and level of traffic, I try to be out by 4.15am, just before dawn. Not only does it make for a cooler and more peaceful ride, it gives you a feeling of moral superiority. However, as I set off that fine summer morning, I noticed a twinge in my right knee. Since I’m not as young as I used to be, I eased up a bit to give the body a bit of time to warm up.

Ride On

August 21, 2010

Being on my Jack Jones at present means it’s my responsibility to keep the place stocked up on supplies, which means when I knocked off work at 8pm and headed home the larder was bare, just like Little Ron Hubbard and his curds of whey.

Five minutes I was back out the door and pedalling through the steamy summer night in search of sustenance. For some reasons a lot of places in my area start closing up around 9pm and all that is left are a few street vendors who look about as hygienic as an NHS A&E waiting room.

Home Again

August 17, 2010

When I first arrived in China I had a handful of Mandarin words at my disposal that I’d collected from a fairly useless set of overpriced language tapes. “I am American” (which I’m not) “How much for the fish?” (which I don’t generally eat) and, perhaps the most useless phrase of all, “I can speak Chinese” (which I couldn’t, and still can’t if I’m truthful – which is something I generally try to avoid). After five years, the exact thought process that led them to include that last phrase still escapes me. Maybe the second set of tapes included equally functional phrases such as “Excuse me, but may I ask from which direction the first tanks came rolling into the square?” (which I can say, but still haven’t mustered up the courage to ask)