About town

15 Apr

Li and I went for a walk on a sunny spring day recently.  We had a nice lunch and were looking for a newly opened frozen yogurt shop where Li had a discount coupon. On the way there we took a turn down a large street and saw this.

Line after line of bicycles and motorcycles.  The motorcycles are a familiar sight on the streets of Shanghai – these are police motorcycles and police plates, but the bicycles were something else entirely.  Most of the bicycles were actually slightly dusty as if they hadn’t been ridden in a long time, but you can see that there is a blinking light on the back and a space for a carrier.  On each carrier was painted Huangpu Social Insurance Bureau (黄浦社保).  I actually know quite a bit about the social insurance programs in China – it’s a set of programs including retirement income, medical insurance, maternity, unemployment, etc. , but I still can’t figure out why this department needs a fleet of bicycles.

Any thoughts as to why these bicycles are (or were) necessary?

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