Street peddler

China seems to be a country filled to the brim with absolutely everything. From girls living in bubbles to electric pink drinking water to foot-wide walking trails on the side of cliffs. Chances are, if you can think of it, China probably has it. And everything in between. When we were in this land of possibility, we came across an ordinary looking girl on a sunny street.  But when we got closer we could see that this girl had a unique special skill: the skill to disappear in an instant. And how does she do it? With a simple but ingenious cloth bag.

This girl was a street seller, and in front of her, some small knick-knacks and jewellery were spread out on a simple cloth. At first, we thought she was the only one there but then we saw some others sitting by their wares, only 10 metres up the road.

Street peddler3

Suddenly, out of nowhere, we heard the loud shrill of a whistle. This girl sprang into action, drawing up the four corners of the cloth in front of her in an instant, and high-tailing it outta there. Not a trace she ever existed. Her speed was mind-boggling; her goods disappeared in just a fraction of a second. The other sellers near her did exactly the same thing.

So what happened? It turns out that the whistle was a sign from one of her colleagues spreading the word that police were about. Street selling is prohibited here in Shenzhen. We wistfully wondered if we would ever see our smiling street seller again.

Street peddler2

Then we discovered that she hadn’t left the area; she was watching for the all-clear to set up shop again. Sure enough, after the police threat was over, the sellers were back at their posts, assuming their regular positions.

So what did we learn from this event? 1. Street selling is prohibited in Shenzhen. 2. Girls who have these ingenious bags can disappear in an instant. 3. It’d be fun to blow a whistle around here just to see the sellers spring into action. But you probably shouldn’t. Probably…