Street Priorities


In an afternoon downfall, this caramel-covered crab-apple vendor stands under a tree nearby a pedestrian bridge. Like most street vendors, she wears her cash register slung in front of her. While she could have opted to design a goods display method that sheltered herself, it is unlikely that she would have been able to create one that adequately sheltered both herself and her inventory simultaneously and still be easily commuted with aboard buses and carried in a hurry if chengguan (城关 “sidewalk police” in charge of making sure no sidewalk-based trade is occurring) appear. Hence, she has prioritized the dryness of inventory over that of herself. Speed and compactness are valued over personal comfort when one is selling on the street.

When your means of financial support is also your means of physical support. When what allows you to provide shelter to your family must also shelter you.

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