I Got China-Conned


I often joke that I picked up the talent of easily spotting shady characters from my South America days, along with other paranoid habits such as running whenever I cross a street, but tonight my sixth sense fell short, leaving me 600 kuai shorter.

After picking up some cash at the bank, I made an evening bike ride down to Sanlitun to run some errands. A block away from my destination my bike jolted to a stop and guessing my chain had fallen off, I shuffled over to the side of the road to take a closer look. While inspecting the chain, a friendly Chinese youth jumped off his bike to see what the issue was. He pointed out a wire had somehow wrapped itself around my tire spokes and without delay started to unravel the tangled metal from my tire. As I helped him, he gradually moved in between me and my basket (which contained my purse). I got a bit sketched out when I realized that I couldn’t see his left hand – after trying to peer around him, he thoughtfully relieved me of my post at the tire. Once the wire was almost completely unwound, he smiled and waved goodbye as I profusely xie xie’d him. My Mexico instincts urged me to check the basket, and once I did – VOILA – the wallet was gone. Then my Mom’s genes activated. I turned into the Hulk and started to chase him down.

In Mexico and Peru, my family probably racked up a total of eight to ten robbings – once my brother had his sneakers stolen off his feet and in Lima my Mom experienced an unsuccessful hijacking (in that they didn’t get the car, just the purse) – but the most unforgettable was the first incident. My Mom was driving me and my siblings in downtown Lima when a man interrupted our Backstreet Boys jam session by reaching in the driver’s window and stealing our garage clicker. For the next 30 minutes, we drove all over those streets in search of the devil-man who stole our precious clicker. At the time, I questioned the mother’s logic – we couldn’t identify the guy and he had most likely already retreated to his devil lair – but today I got it.

It took about half an hour of scouring that neighborhood before I stopped fuming with rage and finally accepted that the wallet was gone.

Tonight, I feel like Beijing owes me one.

"Beijing, I love you but you're bringing me down"

"(Beijing), I love you but you're bringing me down" - LCD Soundsystem

2 Responses to “I Got China-Conned”
  1. ashley says:

    ouch, girlfriend. happens to the best of us. what goes around comes around though, i promise.

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