I happen to enjoy using my Shenzhen city bike card to get around (especially after my old bike was stolen, a story for another day). In very green fashion, the city has some bike rental stations set up around parks and tourists spots and some metro stations etc. It wasn’t easy going through the language barrier to set up my card and account in the first place, but for the past year I happily get around with the green bicycles.
Sometimes I am absent-minded however, and this happens.
Several weeks ago I parked the bike at a building at which I had business to attend. In a rush on the way out, I then took the bus home as I often did. Something didn’t stick in the back of my head.
One day, about two weeks later, my card didn’t work. How annoying. And when I went to the office in Nanshan District to inquire on my problem, they said I never returned a bike!
OH CRAP. The wheels in my head turned. I realized I really had ‘stolen’ a bike! What now? Could I actually get it back? Most likely I would lose the deposit. Would they even let me redo a new bike card? It was a disaster.
My girlfriend let me borrow her card to get around when I needed to, which helped ease my mind. Eventually, in replacing my steps within my memory, I passed by that building and decided to check.
Whoa, there was the bike. With a lock on it. Someone in the area had the gall to steal the bike, and just put their own lock on it, and then park it in the same place.
Well, what could I do? I picked up the bike and ran, that’s what I did! I carried it — couldn’t ride it because of the lock although the front wheel could roll — and took it like two blocks away to park it in the bike station and scan my card to show I had returned it. It was a real workout for my arms, especially in the sweaty South China sun.
The card worked. I felt a little bad though in taking someone’s bike, although they did steal it first. Wonder what happened when the guy found it missing. And from now on that bike will be parked at a station with a lock on the back wheel and nobody can even use it.
My card still doesn’t work. I imagine all the money is used up and I’ll need to recharge it. It will be embarrassing to return to the office, but beats losing the deposit.
And that’s the story.