I went to the moped store, said, "Ni hao!"
Salesman's like "What up, what's your budget?"
And I'm like "Honestly, if my Mandarin was better I would tell you..."
He said "Oh goody, these foreigners make me so much money"
Oh it's too real
Useless mirrors, I don't need a windshield
Black plastic seats, are those yellow wheels??
Two-thousand, two hundred kuai, here's to not getting killed...

I'm headed downtown, cruising in my lane 
Zig-zagging through the streets like a jet plane 
No longer need to walk to get some chow mein
Might need a bike umbrella, just in case it rains
Dope, my crew is ill, and all we need is two good wheels
Got electricity in the tank, no more cash in the bank
And a bad little bike in a matte black colour
I'mma ride that, drive that, no more walking, gonna get fat
Parked him in front of the dorms, hope no one steals my batteries

In all seriousness though, I know how dangerous it can be to ride one of these things, especially in China where traffic rules are more like traffic 'suggestions'. It helps that in Hangzhou, bikes mostly have their own lanes that are separate from the car ones. However, you do still need to be extra careful, especially when turning, as the bike lanes disappear and indicating is a non-existent practice.

The first time I rode this thing was when I had to get it back from the shop/garage to my dorms. It was a 15 minute ride and perhaps simultaneously the most exhilarating and terrifying thing I've ever done. After that, I spent an entire week building up the courage to take it out again. I spent a couple of nights driving it around the campus (when my chances of running into a pedestrian or another bike were significantly lower) to build up my confidence. I've since taken it out on a Walmart run and a couple of other small errands. Sometime in the next couple of days, I'm going to attempt to drive to the West Lake. Wish me luck! 


1. How do you charge that thing?

The eBike (or moped as I've been calling it in my head) runs on electricity. You can use charging stations around the city to give it power but since there isn't one located near my dorms, I've been taking the batteries out and charging them in my room. When we bought our bikes, the people at the garage spent a bit of time creating handles out of sticky tape to make it easier to carry the batteries. Even so, those things are a bitch to carry in and out of the dorms. It's not a one person job so I've been enlisting the help of my fellow dorm-mates to help me out, haha.

2. What was your mum's reaction?

Actually not as bad as I thought it would be. I didn't tell her until after I bought it because I thought she was going to try to talk me out of it. I actually didn't even end up telling her directly - she found out through Facebook and then messaged me telling me to be careful. I think her relatively understated reaction was due to 1) the fact that she'd ridden scooters in Vietnam while growing up and 2) an understanding that in China, eBikes are not a sign of rebellion (as motorbikes are in Western countries) but rather vehicles of efficiency and maybe even necessity.

3. Does it have a name?

Yes. And it is super embarrassing so I'm not going to reveal it here.

4. Are you going to sell it when you leave?

Yes. Because I will need all the $$$ I can save.

5. Is it hard riding on the right side of the road?

Not really. As long as you're fully aware of your senses while you're riding it, it's actually not that hard to stick to the right lane. Or should I say wrong lane?

In saying that, traffic in China tends to be a "free for all" so I've seen people riding in both directions down the lanes. Not exactly the safest practice but I've kind of just filed this into "Things That No Longer Surprise or Faze Me About China".

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