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Object Universals

Shanghai: tools for bicycles
 

Apartment hunting in any culture is a day-by-the-seaside for any amateur anthropologist: with glimpses of lives in progress, empty shells pitched as life-style choices; and the detritus of previous tenants all providing insight-lite. In Shanghai, as with most cultures the apartment seekers meet the agent at the property – resulting in either a short wait time for them or for us and given the desire to understand the neighbourhood and the various ways that Chinese life spills out onto the street, there’s usually something nearby to explore.

Shanghai: tools for bicycles

These photos are from the bicycle parking area of a French concession apartment block though to be honest they could be pretty much anywhere in the world that supports high density housing: a mixture of used-every-day and never-used bicycles; the socially negotiable balance between keeping personal objects in a shared space; and the inevitable storage of bicycle related tools gathering dust.