The Audis came by in a line, like carriages on parade. Then the men in black shirts and black pants, with white gloves. There was a bustle of instructions being shouted into walkie-talkies and people pointing this way and that for where to position the luxury cars. The Audis were getting lined up for a "brand event" in Beijing's Central Business District this afternoon.
I wondered how many hundreds of thousands of dollars were before me. (I now know that the black car, for one, is the R8 Spyder. It apparently has a manufacturer's retail price starting at $127,000, and costs a lot more, I'd bet, in China with its high luxury taxes.)
Audi sedans are often the car of choice for the elite here. Bloomberg News last year described A6s as the "official cars of the nation’s top leaders." That in a country where the annual per capita disposable income of urban residents was reported to be $2,900 last year.
Anyway, I was watching them this afternoon when I noticed the man next to me, holding a broom and also watching them. He turned as I took the picture.