For the first time in recent memory, we happened across police with sniffer dogs in the subway this weekend. Initially we were unsure what to make of this. A security threat? Finally a crackdown on the ‘hashish!’ guys?
Luckily, Reuters was able to shed some light on the subject. They report that last week Beijing deployed dogs with a nose for explosives in their subways, to sniff out fireworks before the Chinese New Year. Apparently, if what we saw is any indication, Shanghai has taken similar measures. It’s all part of a national security practice run for the summer Olympics.
We frown on explosives on the subway as much as anyone, but is policing explosives during the Chinese New Year even feasible? If memory severs us correctly there were no explosions on the subway, but there were however several in every single inch of mainland China outside of subway as well as several nearby countries. Many of those people, we would guess, transported their fireworks via the metro. It will be interesting to see if anyone actually gets busted and what the penalty will be?
There will be plenty of time to ponder this once we’ve resumed our New Year’s shelling sleep schedule.
Photo from Philippe Leroyer