When we woke up yesterday morning we discovered a new year’s surprise: Our beloved shoes are gone. Like many good Chinese girls, we keep our shoes outside our front door (but inside a locked gated corridor … with metal bars perfect for stealing shoes through, evidently). First we thought we might have just misplaced them (we can be kind of messy). But after searching our pile of shoes, we were very certain they were gone. And we were quite confused why someone would steal this pair, then we came to the conclusion the thief must be a man, since the shoes left untouched were all high-heels or very feminine boots. The pair that was gone was masculine style riding boots.
The purpose of the post is not moaning about our stolen shoes — they weren’t $400 Manolos — instead we just wanted to warn you that Spring Festival is coming … and that means you had better watch your stuff. Last Sunday we were almost pick-pocketed on Hengshan Lu — on Hengshan Lu! Can you imagine that? What does Spring Festival have to do with crime? Well, there is usually an increase in thefts leading up to major holidays. Most Chinese like to go home during Spring Festival — thieves, too. Some need money to get a train ticket. Some just want to show off their “good life” in the big city of Shanghai. We hope our boots were at least worth a soft seat. (There is also a chance that the person who stole our boots is from right here in Shanghai — we have very good taste in shoes. 😉 )
We rattled off a post in a forum regarding our stolen shoes. Commenters said even the preserved pork they hang outside gets stolen … geez. With Spring Festival drawing closer, most companies are giving out year-end bonuses and people start buying stuff with the extra money. We think it’s important for everyone to keep an extra eye on their personal belongings. In fact, we found a thieves map, which was reported in China Daily at the beginning of 2005 (unfortuantely, we can’t find the map itself … any help out there?). This post on mop.com, a very popular site, listed 55 streets and spots in Shanghai where theft is rampant — most are public transportation connectors between the downtown area and the suburbs, and a few shopping streets, such as Huaihai Lu and Fuzhou Lu.
Some people suggested to put a string of little bells on your bag or purse — kind of like an alarm. We guess we will just keep all our shoes inside from now on — or maybe we will move to Hangzhou.
Image from Sinosplice.