My bike got stolen.
I left my spiffy blue and white Giant bike outside over the winter holiday, and returned in February to find that it had vanished (in spite of my double locks). Of course, this is not a terrible tragedy, but I was sad to lose it because: 1) I loved that bike. 2) The weather is finally warming up. 3) I've been bored. Sometimes I think about my bike and wonder how it's doing -- is it lightheartedly zipping along some country road? Hanging out with a couple hundred other bikes outside some apartment building? Languishing in some far-away place and missing its former owner?
In any case, it's gone and I needed another.
Jessica, another English teacher, left unexpectedly after the first semester. She left behind a hand-me-down bike that has been passed down among the foreign teachers for several years. It finally occurred to my teammates that there was no reason I couldn't just take her bike. (After all, she's not using it in Boston.) So we talked to Mr. Chen, a maintenance guy in the foreigners' complex, about cutting off the lock. He chuckled and nodded and said he'd do it the next day. We made some small talk and he smiled and chuckled some more. I love the middle-aged-Chinese-man chuckle; it's so agreeable and friendly. Mr. Chen also agreed to fix my teammate Tarah's bike.
Yesterday, we came home from class and saw the cardboard signs in our bike baskets: "The Bike OK."
Thanks, Mr. Chen! I washed off three months of grime and biked to my office for the first time today. The brakes are a little iffy, but I agree -- the bike OK.