How to personalize your vehicle: Chinese Style
No matter where you are in the world, everyone likes to personalize their possessions. Individual expression after all is part of the essence of life. Things such as our vehicles are no exception. Here in America we adorn are back and front bumpers with stickers of humor, school pride, or political endorsement. Some of us even personalize the characters of our license plates. The most common informal custom I think would have to be hanging a graduation tassel from your rear view mirror, representing your school colors and class year (GO GREEN AND WHITE, CASS TECH co/ 2005!!!!!) In my young life I have been blessed with the opportunity to visit and live in many countries. When it comes to vehicle personalization there are no strong differing idiosyncrasies between the cultures from my viewpoint.
That all changed when I went to China. Here not only do people customize their vehicles, but they make them from scratch!!!! It was amazing to me to see so many variations on a scooter. Some had multiple seats and others had picnic baskets attached to the handle bars as sort of a glove compartment situation. The colors/pattern combinations were endless. Some were even encased in metal coverings looking like something out of a Star Wars movie. The bike/scooter culture in China is quite astounding to me and a testament to human resourcefulness and ingenuity. It's also a promotion for one of the best ways to move about dense cities for short quick trips, a great alternative to bulky cars. Besides the fact that I almost got run down by many of these vehicles walking across the street, I am quite found of them. Iv'e posted a brief image gallery below documenting these remarkable vehicles...
All images taken by the author.