Beggars on Buses – The Mystery of the Filthy Poke

– Beggars are people (I think) that I fear more than the plague.  And beggars on buses just got brought to my mind by a text that I received from my friend Will.

I think beggars are bad enough when I have to look at them for a mere fifteen seconds as I approach them on a crowded street, but when they jump on your bus, come up to you, and start poking you with their grungy fingers…fingernails 27.4 inches long with dirt cemented underneath….  Yeah.  How do they not break from all the poking they do?  I don’t know.  But seriously…poking?  I only find that enjoyable on facebook.  And even then its often creepy..  Why is my dad’s friend poking me?  Does he know what that is?

A toned down version of Will’s text message:  “This beggar just got on the bus.  Singing Traditional Chinese music.  And, of course, she picked the stop right before crossing the bridge.  If she touches me…”  Let me explain a few things here:  If you have never heard traditional Chinese music then your ears are probably 2-3x better than those who have stumbled upon this cruel and unusual punishment that China clearly developed as some sort of torture mechanism that was leaked to the public and through brainwashing became thought of as “beautiful.”  Old breaks on your fathers 1975 Chevy Caprice Classic.  Nails on the chalkboard.  Cats dying in the night.  All are more enjoyable to listen to…if only for the fact that they can’t possibly last as long as any traditional Chinese song seems to last.

And going back to beggars on buses…people give them money.  Dear Lord.  I would continue getting on buses and busting people’s eardrums if I knew I could make a living out of it.  Actually, come to think of it..maybe I can.  Sorry, mom and dad, I won’t be coming home anytime within the near future..I just found my calling.

Anyway, I love riding on buses, despite the bad smells, crowded spaces, and occasional beggars.  I don’t really know why.  Well, I enjoy buses when I can sit.  I have even developed the skill (yes, its a skill) of sleeping on buses and waking up moments before my stop.  This is something I thought that only Chinese people were capable of doing.  Perhaps, I have just been lucky.  But, bus rides are something I have become accustomed to, and its somehow even relaxing…until I am poked, that is.

Plus, buses are a good place to people watch.  I do love people watching.  And baby watching…  Yes, baby watching is possible in China because they are everywhere.  And way cuter than any other babies you have ever seen.  Maybe that’s not true, but a pack of baby tigers is cuter than one cute panda.  Based on quality and quantity…Chinese babies win.  The other day, I saw twins.  I gave up my seat to the mother, and then I secretly watched the two babies poke each other (only about half as adorable as being poked by a beggar) from the other end of the bus.

Okay, that’s enough bus rant.  I’m about to go get on one.  Time for the gym.  Aka, time to be the main spectacle in a complex filled with 100 Chinese people who all want to practice their English with the lone foreigner.

Much Love.


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