last year when aifo came to visit us it was part of his long journey all around china, some people go more all around, and take even a longer journey, but it was far more than we ever had a chance to travel in china in the time we lived here.
leading up to his arrival i would ride around town a lot on my bike and think he would really enjoy it here, and i can’t wait for him to come by and we can ride our bikes through the weirdest spots in the city checking out the local gypsies, stopping for a chat and a beer and riding on.
i started thinking that maybe it’s only cool in my mind, or maybe in my mind some of it isn’t cool at all anymore, because i already got used to it, and maybe ningbo won’t live up to his expectations, and fall short in comparison with other cities he got to visit.
but when he was actually here, he was totally blown away from every little thing, we managed to show him sights that you have to live in a place to know, go to restaurants and to the right street food joints.
on one of our days here, i suggested we ride out to dongqian hu, a beautiful lake on the east side of ningbo, that is maybe 20km away, but 200 years behind.
aifo said that every city he’s been to he went to the fixie shop and rented a bike for the day. that sounds like no problem, my friend here owns a bike shop, we can go say hi and see if they will let us rent a couple of bikes.
in slow broken english aifo is trying to explain to the girl at the shop what we want, something a long the line of
Aifo: i give money, you give bike?
Girl in Shop: 3000rmb
A: no, no, 1 day
G: no. wait (looking at me) you are the photo guy, no?
Me: yes, we want to go to dongqianhu and take pictures
G: okay, you can take bikes
Me: great, thanks! how much?
G: no, no, take.
so we promised to take good care of them, to return them within 24hours, and asked her to put the word out if any of the local riders will want to join us.
the next day, we met up with max, a student from shanghai studying in nottingham university, and it was so good that he came, because i was ready to lead us in a very wrong direction.