The first, quick thing I’d like to tell you about has to do with an interesting situation in which I found myself over the weekend. First of all, just so you know, the subway in Shanghai would be one of the top 3 worst places to be if there was ever a zombie outbreak. It is crowded, you are in a dark, cramped tunnel, and there are just more people than virtually anywhere else. This crossed my mind for maybe two seconds the first couple times I rode it, but I didn’t think about it again until just recently. You see, I was riding the subway to a friend’s apartment, minding my own business, and a middle-aged man got onto my train, followed by a similarly halfway-point aged person, and each held something… interesting. What was it, you ask? Perhaps a massive pizza? Or a baby giraffe? Were they themselves the zombies to which you refer in your post’s title, holding a victim? None of the above. (Though both a massive pizza, as well as a baby giraffe, would have been immensely welcome…)
They were holding…
(and this is le – gen – dar – y…)
TWO FREAKING CHAINSAWS.
No joke. How does that happen?! How do you get onto a subway with two chainsaws?! A better question would be: when, ever in my entire life, will I be better prepared to deal with a sudden outbreak of zombies, than when I randomly find myself in the company of two expert chainsaw-wielding warriors? I only assume they are experts and warriors because you presumably do not get onto a subway in Shanghai with chainsaws unless you are such. The first thing that popped in my mind was (after the general shock of incredulity) the realization that, in so many zombie movies, I am so critical of the fact that the survivors always seem to end up with a chainsaw. How common are they, really? What an unbelievable, unlikely, manipulated plot situation, right? Well, color me Wrong, and Standing Corrected, as well as Exponentially More Optimistic about my Chances of Landing my Hands on a Chainsaw in the Un-or-Perhaps-Non-Un-Likely Event of Z-Day.
Completely Unrelated Second Third of Post
If you were to have happened to be in my company this morning just prior to lunchtime, you would have found me rushing through the streets and subways of Shanghai as if each step were accompanied by bass beats in the driving soundtrack from an action movie and I was right in the middle of a harrowing chase scene where I was either running from a shadowy international crime syndicate bent on capturing me and keeping me from releasing the secrets that would take them down, or hot on the heels of a notorious, ruthless thief carrying out his biggest heist yet, most likely of some sort of ancient jade statue, while he heartlessly held my (soon-to-be-rescued, of course) love interest hostage in an unknown location. (That was one sentence. I need to take a deep breath.) If you know me, you know that I am a sprint-walker, and today I was going especially fast. My face was grim… set… determined… a big business meeting going down, you ask? Were you actually in some sort of chase scene? Was Mister Donut giving out a free dozen to the first 100 people who could get into the store? Unfortunately, none of these were the case, and I wish I had not suggested the Mister Donut scenario, because that truly sounds awesome, and I got a little ray of butterfly-excitement even though it’s my own invented hypothetical example. Nope, I was speeding through this bustling city because I had a (wait for it!) bathroom emergency! Anticlimactic? Perhaps, and I apologize. But try telling me that there is a feeling more relieving, more heavenly, than when you have to go to the bathroom so badly, and you persevere through that suffering that pushes you right to point of your deepest endurance, and you rush through what is always an intense, soundtrack-backed race through the streets, and finally, thank goodness! you arrive at your nice, familiar, welcoming potty place.
And that was today’s story. Bad guys? Beaten. Jade relic? Returned. Love interest? Rescued, and swooning. Credits roll.
Completely Unrelated Third Third of Post
Shanghai, as it is a gigantic city, naturally has quite a bit of background honking going on. The streets are congested at rush hour, though the infrastructure in the city is pretty stellar from what I’ve seen so far. There have been some interesting car situations; twice now I have seen people driving down the sidewalk in areas where I honestly have absolutely no idea how they got themselves there. I look around for places where they could enter from the street, and both times a small fence has separated the road from the walkway, and there weren’t any alleys. But that’s unimportant. I wanted to talk to you about the honking. It’s not as bad as I expected it to be in a huge city like Shanghai, but it’s definitely common. I kind of wince to hear it now, because for some reason I’ve started to imagine that car-language is very angry and most likely full of expletives. I’m pretty sure if there were subtitles for honking they’d be quite obscene. Cars are just not very polite to one another. They’re never talking about friendly things like “HEY! Now those are some SHINY wheels, man!” I would put an example sentence here of what they’re probably saying, but I’d guess that it’d be somewhat disturbing (though strikingly creative and unconventional in a purely grammatical sense).
I saw a man walking on the sidewalk in just his silk boxers last week. It’s apparently a somewhat common thing to see here. I walked by an old couple as I went home and saw the man picking out a rogue grey hair from the head of the old woman, who stood patiently waiting as he affectionately tried to snag it. It was a situation which I immediately knew girls would find utterly cute and endearing and indicative of a decades-long romance but which made one big, loud thought-banner-ad scroll across my mind: gross.