Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Bad Man

Yeah, remember when I said it's really hard to get your bike stolen? Mine got stolen. From right outside the train station where there are a million other bikes, both crappier and nicer than mine. The worst part was that less than a week before it got stolen, I got a nice new seat and new smooth tires so it would be faster. That cost me $1000 NT.

One funny part about it is that in Chinese there's an expression, "huai ren," which literally translates as bad person, but it's more meaningful in Chinese than English (ie, doesn't sound silly). But whenever you ask a Chinese person who stole something or broke something or killed someone, it's always "The Bad Man did it."

One reason I got a nicer bike is that on Saturdays I ride my bike over a half hour to teach my first class, then another half hour to teach my second class, then 45 minutes to go tutor, then home from there. So a faster bike would help. So I was like, dang, I won't be able to make it to classes. But someone told me about a scooter shop where they speak English, and I went to try to find it and I didn't but there was a bike shop, and here there was a used bike I could buy for $1200. Less than $50 US? So I was kind of happy. Also at the end of my bike-buying transaction, the guy went off in crazy Chinese explaining something and I was like "Sorry, I don't understand," and he said "Really? Your Chinese is so good! I thought your Mom was Taiwanese!" and I laughed but he was like "Really!"

Anyhooo.... on my way to my first class on Saturday I get a flat tire. I did put air in it but in went flat again, so I got it fixed in Fong Yuan. $150. Then it started pouring down rain. Then on my way back to Taichung- flat again. Today was busy but I rode it flat on the way to the train station and then happily there was a bike shop open on my way home (8:30 on a Sunday night- gotta love Taiwan) and he fixed it. And I tried to say that I thought the tire was bad, what with 2 flats in a day, not just the tube, but he said no, it's fine. So I hope that's true and it doesn't go flat tomorrow.

It's funny, even though I know that bad things happen because this is a bad world full of imperfect people, and bad and good things happen to bad and good people, I keep catching myself thinking "What have I done wrong that has made my bike cursed? I have done a few good things this week that I don't normally do. So why do bad things happen now?" It is so hard to get rid of that thinking. And "Maybe I shouldn't buy a scooter since I'm having bad luck." No, so crazy!

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