Thongs & Freedom


 The intersection in question. Photo reenactment.

Shanghai, 8:30AM, 92 degrees.

15-20 commuters on bicycles and motor scooters, 20 yards short of the light, idle in a pack beneath the shade of a tree. A young Chinese professional wearing khaki slacks, faux-leather dress shoes and a light green dress shirt, untucked commercial inflatable water slides.

The light turns, the pack rustles to life.

The young Chinese man leans forward to pedal his bicycle; his pants dip and form a crude V shape.

A purple thong appears. He bikes.

The pack crosses the intersection, unencumbered by the gender expectations of the underwear status quo. Freedom lives on in the pants of the Chinese people.

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