The train’s doors whipped right open and it seemed as if the whole city had poured in. By the way, this was just a Monday.
But forget all that. Forget the crowds, forget the indecipherable chit-chatter, forget the constant screeching noise emitting from the train’s wheels pounding the metal below. Rather, let’s focus on the hip, scrawny late 20 something year old male that grabbed a seat next to me and seemed to not give a flying fuck about anyone in his vicinity.
And how so? Well, he got out his smartphone, pulled up an app, and proceeded to watch a compilation of the most cringe worthy trending videos in China with the volume on full blast.
You ever hear that God-awful ‘What Does the Fox Say?’ song by Ylvis? Yep, the sounds were that annoying, and then some.
It was surprising to see how laid-back he was about annoying the hell out of just about everyone in the cabin. Well actually, no, it wasn’t—after 6.5 years I know better than most expats that that’s just the way things work out here.
What’s even more insufferable is the fact that no one made any type of effort to address the elephant in the room. I guess that’s just another commonplace tidbit of Chinese culture.
Ever been to a train station, amusement park, or tourist hub in China? Trust me, you’d be taken aback seeing just how much pushing, shoving, and line-cutting people tend to get away with, and without argument or consequence. But I digress ...
As for my new friend on the train? Well, I guess I’ve just assimilated that much into the culture. I didn’t say anything either. It’s not like I could speak the correct Mandarin anyways, nor did I feel like going through the motions of relaying hand gestures to get my point across. I could have pulled out a translation app but ... damn, too bad I didn’t think of that one!
What I did do, however, was whip out my phone and blast my own music at full volume. It was rap music, too. I even held it up so he’d get a taste of his own medicine. But did he get the picture? Nope. He didn’t even wince. Dammit.
It’s funny though, after all that, after clearly showing that he didn’t give a damn about anyone’s personal space, privacy, or sanity for that matter, he wound up giving his seat up to an elder man that boarded the train. Oh, the irony is incredible!
So, here’s a toast to you, the happy-go-luckily gentleman on the Chinese subway train that does what he wants, when he wants, and suffers no consequence. You win. Yeah, I guess sometimes you just shouldn’t give a fuck.