"You're not going to believe this. I just passed a checkpoint and our bike has been confiscated." It was not the time for details, just get him his passport number and wait for another call...
Not much time passed before he called back and we decided we'd carry on as planned. He hopped in a taxi and we did too and met up at the market. Matt selected his purchase- a simple commuter bike that he can ride daily to his new school. (Have I said how glad and excited I am for my amazing man to get to be a Business Management grad student at one of the top 10 universities in China?)
So far our only vehicle was this one electric bike. We love it. Not quite as convenient as a car but 7,000 times more fun for rides to the park (shooting water guns the whole way) and easily doable for trips to the grocery store and back (and of course, worlds cheaper and its less scary for me to drive in the bike lane here!)
After his purchase, we moved on to the kids section for our treasure hunt there. I think we ended up with two pretty great bikes that will hopefully see lots of years of use in our family. Isaiah's bike is a tiny bit big for him for now but he still rides it well. And Marian's bike is a tad smaller than we would have hoped for, but will be great for John before too long... hopefully around the time she's ready for a real big girl bike.
The cozy ride home... So glad all 5 of us and the three bikes fit. It was a squish!
Funny how we lost our big bike and gained these three within about 2.5 hours. But at least Matt had transportation to classes the next few days. We had no idea if we would ever get the bike back.
Now the goofy (alright... maddening) thing about this was that when he seized our bike, the policeman told Matt that this kind of bike is illegal in China- not illegal on major roads, not illegal in the central part of the city, but illegal in this country.
Yea, Right. There are bazillions of them. ALL over the place. I know that doesn't make them legal but what about the dozens of huge storefronts we pass all the time that sell these little vehicles daily? Why is it legal to manufacture them? Why are they still sold like hot cakes in broad daylight?
Matt was pretty frustrated with the situation. It was best for me not to bring it up with him since he was just at a loss for what to do. We prayed. We found a local guy who looked at the ticket and went with Matt this morning to the impound lot where our sweet little family bike was living... too, too far from us.
And he got it back! 30Y down (about $4.50) for the storage fee but the police officer that seized the bike was the same guy that Matt talked to today and he was very courteous (a gracious answer to prayer!) and didn't even charge us a violation fee. We are so grateful! (Of course, the question still lingers, "What violation was made!?" but still...)
And here's one more pic I just can't pass up... for as much as I love this shot, it honestly doesn't capture even half of his delightfulness!