Saturday, December 12, 2009

Other People's Stories

I've met a lot of fantastic expats during my stay here, so I've come across some great stories too. I've recorded a few here as told to me (with a few stylistic changes on my part) this past week. I think they illustrate life in Asia well.

1. Skinny Jeans. Fat Cockroach.
My friend was wearing skinny jeans out clubbing in Taipei once. A big cockroach crawled up one of his pant legs, but he couldn't shake it out and was instead freaking out. He ran to the bathroom to take his pants off, but they were too tight.

He ended up with mashed roach on the side of his leg. Not cute.

2. Hope This Doesn't Happen To Me. Maybe a Benefit of Living the Dream in Your 20somethings.
There was this 60something year old Japanese woman in my Chinese class who was super energetic and fun. She was living her dream of finally studying abroad. Growing up she always wanted to leave the country to study Mandarin, but her family didn't have the money. She ended up becoming a lawyer and making good money and being able to retire.

Then one day in class she just keeled over and died...right in the middle of class. But she was living the dream.

*Please note that this one came from a guy I met last night who has a professional certificate in circus performance. In addition to getting a BA in history and an MA in communication studies, he went to a circus school and was a juggler for a number of years. How cool is that? The second circus man I've met on this trip!

His signature act was standing on his head and juggling atop a bed of broken glass.

3. Weird Shit Asian People Do
When you're traveling in Asia, you never stop being shocked by the crazy shit Asian people do. Everyone I've met on my travels -- no matter how long they've lived abroad-- agree that you never get used to the bizarre things you see on the street...and everyone has their own favorite story.

Mine was walking down the road in China one day and I look up to see a man sawing off the top of a street lamp. The lamp was still on. I just kept walking.

The best one I heard was from a girl who was also walking down the road in China, and she sees two men bent over with the upper halves of their bodies in a barrel and digging for something. They emerge with what appears to be success on their faces and something moving in a bag. She'd never seen such pride so had to know what their elusive prize could be.

A cat. They were going home to eat it.

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