UNICYCLING IN TIANANMEN!
the Heart of China
On October 9, 1998, the last day of my trip, I went to hang
out in the Tiananmon Square area. I had no expectations of actually being able to ride
there, since when I and John Foss tried to do so in 1993 when the Great Wall Unicycling
Marathon was held, we were immediately and firmly stopped by the ubiquitous policemen.
Hey, let me
So I figured, I'll just push my unicycle and
ask someone to snap a quick shot. To my surprise, the policemen didn't say a word. As soon
as I started riding a Chinese girl comes over and says "Hey, I can ride that thing!
Let me try." So here she is. Yes, she could ride, but had trouble with my saddle
being too high for her.
"Ni qi yige" means something like "Hey, why
don't you ride that thing!". Many of the participants in the Great Wall Marathon in
1993 learned this expression after hearing it dozens of times, Well, I did "qi
yige", and attracted crowds without end. After ten or fifteen minutes of performing
and hundreds of people gathering, the cops put an end to it.
But as I start walking away, again I get another torrent of "qi yige"s, and I
couldn't resist hopping on. But of course this at once attracts dozens, soon hundreds, of
curious onlookers, so I repeated show after show until the cops politely but not too
firmly made us disperse.