First ride in a PedicabPosted: July 31, 2011
My latest update from Greg….
“Hi Guys – still missing you all. I had an interesting day yesterday. On the way home from work, the driver Yuan was telling me all about Chinese acupuncture. The toll booth is always a crap shoot, but as we were waiting behind another van, a dump truck in front of that van decided he wanted to get out of the line. He started to back up. As he’s smashing the van in front of us, Yuan is going into detail about acupuncture while I’m yelling at him to back up. He was able to get out of the way in time, but if I hadn’t been paying attention we’d have had a bit of a scrape.
I stopped at the restaurant in Huayang for some dinner. Even though we called it in, we still waited almost 30min. I guess they didn’t trust us to make the food in advance. Yuan says sometimes competitors do that as a joke so until they get to know you better they won’t prepare ahead? This was the third and last time eating there. I thought the food was terrible and ended up throwing it away. I ate an apple and some bread with Nutella.
It wasn’t as hot as it had been so I decided to go for a ride. I was exploring some new areas on the new bike and having a good ride until I had another flat. I had an extra tube, pump etc. but the piece of crap pump wouldn’t put pressure in the tire. I was about 10 miles from home out in the country. I decided to call Yuan for a ride. He didn’t answer. I called his other phone, and didn’t think he was going to answer again, but he picked up. He was a bit stressed I could tell. I told him I needed some help, and he proceeded to tell me about his trouble. He is so obsessed with that new bridge that he decided to drive over it after dropping me off. It was blocked and they were paving it but he went for it anyway. Turns out he got tar and asphalt caked all over the wheels. He was at the shop getting it scrapped off with a screw driver so he couldn’t give me a ride. I started to walk home. After about 1KM I saw some
kids along the road. I used my Chinese to explain my problem and asked about a ride. They couldn’t help so I kept walking.
About 5min later one of those little pedicab tricycles stopped at my side with the four kids inside chattering about something I couldn’t understand. I hung the bike on the back and went for my first ride in the pedicab. I couldn’t understand what they were telling me, but I went along with it. We drove to a village and stopped at a scooter store. We hit three stores and
none could help with my tire. I ended up asking the guy if he could just drive me home. It was too far, but I was able to use enough Chinese to explain I’d pay him when we got to the house and I was able to give him directions. It took about 30min, but we rolled into LuxeHills after dark and I gave the guy 50RMB for the ride. He was thrilled. I celebrated with a Dr Pepper, tried you guys
on Skype, and went to bed.
At work now – another day in China.
Love you guys!”
In case you are as curious as I was the history behind these pedicabs are as interesting as the photo. This style of pedicab or more commonly known as a “hen-pecked cab” can still be found in our new hometown of Chengdu in the Sichuan Province. The bicycle is one of the most common forms of transportation in this rapidly developing nation of 1 billion plus inhabitants.
The story goes like this. There was a man who needed to drive his family around. He built a tricycle with a small fold-down seat in the back. When he drove his wife and children around, his wife would always be telling him where to turn and where to go. Thus he was “hen-pecked” and the vehicle got its name. Some say they are illegal cabs because they aren’t registered but nobody seems to care and I for one am glad it got my hubby home safe and sound.