I nearly missed dinner today

I just had dinner, a large sweat potato that one can buy in the afternoons and evenings at one of the numerous vendors in the streets. These vendors always seem to form a group: The goods to be sold in nearly all of these groups are pineapples, closely followed by the sweet potatoes.

Pineapple vendor
Mobile pineapple vendor.

Today I had planned to get such a sweet potato for dinner, but the problem is that the heater for the potatoes is usually installed on the bike of the vendor. So you cannot always buy them at the same spots, but after a few weeks in Beijing I got a feeling where to find them in my area.
Once I finally found one, I did buy a potato using the Chinese way of “drive thru”: I just chose the one I wanted and paid while I was still sitting on my bike, just one foot on the ground.

So far I had assumed that the vendors sell them from the back of their bikes because that way they can easily get to the spots where people coming from work are passing by. But today I learned that here is another good reason for the vendors to be mobile. Just after I had chosen my potato, had paid and while I was still busy getting the plastic bag with the potato inside into my backpack, I heard yelling and suddenly the whole group was started to move. A moment later I saw why: After the vendors had left me alone (I was still trying to manage to get my potato into my backpack…) I saw a grimly looking police officer staring at me. Well, he could not do me any harm, but nonetheless I took my bike and followed the vendors. Once I caught up with them, I asked the potato vendor why they had run away. He didn’t quite answer, but was giving me in affirmative laughter after I asked whether he left because of the police. I guess that they did not have a license to sell goods – but I was happy that I did not come one single minute later to buy dinner, that way I would have missed a delicious sweet potato…


One Response to “I nearly missed dinner today”

  1. Olga Says:

    ^^~Really funny, I think we also have the same situation in Taipei’s largest night market “士林夜市.” From your daily I can feel that you are enjoyable to absorb ever new life experience there. Reading a familiar matter from a different perspective also refreshes me. This month I am almost explosived from many trivial things, which is quite upset me. I realized that I am not as good as I thought, couldn’t handle everything “smoothly.” I hope I can be more stable facing between my studyings and social time just like you, Matt. Olga

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