I'm a Big DUMMY!
I was having dinner last night with a good friend (for story completeness, we’ll call him “Steve”) in a classic Xinjiang Chuan joint inside the 2nd ring road. It has actually been a while since we’ve been there (well, me at least). “Steve” and I use to go there quite often in the old days (3 years ago). I was actually surprised it was still there! I took the liberty to make a little sketch of the situation in the hopes it will aid in explaining the situation. “Steve” has a car. You can see where he is parked below, it is the rectangle next to the tetris-looking object that is the public toilet. I have my sidecar motorbike. It is the rectangle that is in the alleyway, well, you can see the arrow pointing to it, right? Its labeled “My motorbike”. The “X” on the sketch is where we had our outdoor table, enjoying the chuan and other assorted xinjiang dishes. The table, or “X” is across the alleyway from the restaurant, named “Chuan Joint” in this sketch. Its the big rectangle to the right of the “X”. “The Fez” is a police station, not really related to the story. All right. So, we were enjoying our meal up until 11 at night? We decided it was about time to go. My phone was on the table, and as we got up, “Steve” was nice enough to remind me “You’re phone, you’re phone, you’re phone…..” I said something along the line “Yes, Got it! Thanks!” I put it in my belt holster. We walk to “Steve’s” car and I had to use the public toilet. (The “Chuan Joint” doesn’t have a toilet). After that, we chatted a bit at his car. Then “Steve” makes a sny remark “I bet I’ll get home before you do” (Note: Without giving up “Steve’s” identity, I will say that “Steve” lives in the same district, Chao Yang, as I do, and pretty close distances away from the restaurant. That’s all I’m saying.) So I was thinking to myself “hah, I don’t think so”, and began to run to my bike. I knew that “Steve” was going to exit to the East (down in the sketch above), so I decided to pull my bike into the middle of the alleyway so he wouldn’t be able to get a head start. Needless to say, I took my time. Put the helmet on. Stretched a little. Started the bike, and then OFF I go. I managed to get out of the alleyway before an oncoming car turned into it (Up in the sketch above) - another obstacle for “Steve” to overcome. At this point, I was feeling pretty good. There is zero chance “Steve” is going to get home before I do! Near China World hotel (Guo Mao area), about 3/4ths the way home, I do my usual belonging status check on the bike where I pat my pockets to ensure I have everything. My Phone Is Missing!!!! Shit! I do a U-turn at the next possible point and race back to the restaurant. At this point, I am thinking “Damn, he’s going to reach home first! Crap! My Phone! Crap, my SIM card! Argh - tomorrow’s going to suck!”. I turn into the alleyway, going slowly past the restaurant, and reach the area I was parked at, and whoala! My phone, in the holster, is on the ground. I drive next to it, swoop it up, throw it in the sidecar, and race back home. I get home, and walking to my building from my parking spot I check on the phone. First i noticed gravel or asphalt marks on the leather holster suggesting there was some sort of “pressing” on the ground. I prepared myself for the worse. I take the phone out of the holster, press a button, and I see this:: That’s right, the screen is smashed. Crushed by a car. Maybe it was “Steve’s”. Or the phantom white car going the opposite way as I was leaving… Well, I don’t I’ll be able to solve the mystery of who’s done it. I guess I need to start looking for a new phone. I have learned something though. If you keep your phone on a belt holster, don’t act like an idiot and do something (i.e. run like crazy and jump on a motorbike) that could result in it falling off your belt. Oh, and maybe next time I’ll do the “belonging status check” BEFORE leaving the point of origin. The high-res photos are on the Flickr site.