Ge Huojin and his wife had cycled in all the way from rural Anhui to sell their lettuce. The elevated freeways heading into Shanghai had been quite a challenge. No one had told them that bicycles were forbidden on them (and motorized flatbed tricycles too! How on earth did the Shanghairen get anywhere quickly if they couldn’t haul their goods on the freeway?) but they did it anyway.
It had taken half an hour of fierce bargaining at the toll booth to get their fee reduced. Why should they pay the full 5 kuai (astronomical!) when that was for a 4 wheeled sedan car ten times their size and weight? The 8 jiao they finally paid was more like it. After all, how could they make a profit on their lettuce if transport costs were so high?
Hopefully the Shanghai shoppers wouldn’t notice the 400% markup on the lettuce.