The Thai Biker
09 Aug 2005
So yesterday I was out riding around on my bike, doing errands. It was a beautiful day, and not even too hot. A typhoon will do great things for the weather (although it ripped the top of my favorite umbrella right off when Carl tricked me into going out in it on Saturday).
I was stopped at a light, and an older, deeply tanned biker next to me started saying “hello, hello” to me. Great, I thought. So much for my dissolving the “bubble of foreignness” when I’m riding my bike.
The guy made another attempt, so I looked over at him. I noticed he was wearing a big pack, which seemed kind of strange. When he had my attention, he held up a picture. I took a look. It was a postcard of Shanghai’s Pearl Tower. Then he said, “Hello, hello. How I go here? How I go here?”
I was a little confused at first. Why was some Chinese guy on a bike asking me (in English, no less) how to get to the Pearl Tower? (We were nowhere near the Pearl Tower.) Then I noticed two flags on his bike. They had Thai writing on them. So this guy was Thai…
He repeated his question again, and I pointed in the general direction. He nodded. Then the light changed, and he was off.
Too bad I was a bit cold toward him (not to mention daft); he was probably a pretty interesting guy, biking through China… and all the way from Thailand(?). Oh well. It was morning. I’m not a morning person.
But sometimes interesting things happen when you ride a bike.