Sunday, August 27, 2006

22 Short Films About NYC - John's

Hi everyone who is following Pen’s blog. As you all probably know this is not really my thing, but a few people have asked that I do an entry so here are my three stories…

The other day I was walking around China Town (which here is more than one street) looking for a hospitality supply place to buy a good kitchen knife. As I was walking I was looking in the shop windows with my usual amazement at this city, when I saw something that I had to take a photo of.

I know the quality is not great, and the reflection is in just the wrong spot, so I’ll explain what it is.

The item was in the window of a regular Chinese shop, and appeared to be for sale. It is a porcelain figurine of two people, both Chinese. One of the people is a Chinese male in some sort of official uniform. He has a smile on his face, his left leg lifted in a kicking motion, and a gun in his hand that he is holding to the other person’s head. The second person is an elderly male, kneeling on one knee in front of the official. He appears to be held down by the official, and has a cane to help him walk.

Here’s where it get’s disturbing, other than the fact that this is displayed in the open and for sale. The elderly male with the gun to his head and about to be kicked up the arse, is looking to the side, like he is looking at you the viewer, waving and …. SMILING!

Yesterday Penny, Colby and I went for a run. We went up to Houston Street, across to the Hudson River, and then back along the base of Manhattan (past the Statue of Liberty) to our apartment. It was a nice run, about 7 miles or so (11 kilometers). When finished we saw some other dogs running in a little park, so we asked the owners if they would mind if Colby joined them. They said it was fine, so we let him off. As we were talking we saw that Colb’s was rolling in something so Pen went to investigate. It turns out that he had found a dead bird, and thought that it made him smell great. So we left and came home to give Colbs a bath. Once he was in the shower we realized that we didn’t have any dog shampoo, but the previous people had left some Pert Plus. So we used the Pert and hoped for the best. Ever since Colby has had the shiniest, silkiest coat ever, and it is quite odd patting a dog and feeling human-like hair.

A couple of days ago I was going uptown to pick up Pen after work and go to the Museum of Modern Art (it’s free on Fridays - fish). There are usually some interesting people on the subway, and I usually just look at the floor, or the lights rushing by outside. This day however I had the crazy train.

When I hopped on all seemed normal, and I was inspecting the floor a few feet in front of me. After a little while I thought I heard someone yell, so I (along with most other people) looked around in case someone was in danger. I could not see anything odd and so focused back on the floor. A short time later there was another yell, and again I could not see anything. This continued for a few stops, and curiosity was getting the better of me, and others, so we were openly looking around waiting for more yelling. When it happened again we saw that it was a very innocent looking Chinese woman. She was about 30, well kept, had good hygiene, and did not look like the average crazy. She then snapped, and started hissing and putting curses on everything and everyone, as well as what looked like casting spells that should make things blow up (with complete soundtrack). It was a little hard to grasp as she didn’t speak a lick of English. Then she stopped just as quickly as she had snapped, and by the next stop she’d resumed being `normal’. Then after the train started again she would start the whole thing over again. The funny thing was that we all knew she was crazy, but the people getting on didn’t, and would stand near her … for a little while anyway.

Beggars here sometimes get on the subway and give a little spiel about how they are not beggars, but something else and just need a little money, if you could possibly find it in your heart to spare any change you may have. While crazy Chinese lady was doing her thing we had one of these beggars get on and do his little spiel. The problem was that he was too crazy to talk properly, and none of what he said made sense. We were glad to see that when he walked up the train with his cup crazy Chinese lady was putting curses and spells all over him. He didn’t make much from our carriage.

At the next stop crazy beggar got off (after doing what I can only assume was abusing me for smirking at him getting cursed) and a new load of people got on.

One of these people I recognized, as I have had him before on my carriage. He is similar to the above beggar, but he is part of a band that does rap (not gangster and not bubble gum) and they are trying to make a start, so they sell their CD’s for $1. He is well dressed, and I suspect that he is telling the truth about trying to make a start. So he stands next to crazy Chinese lady (who is being normal at the moment) and waits for the train to move so you can’t escape his spiel.

Once we start moving he starts his spiel which is well rehearsed and presented well. However this time once he is a line or two into it crazy Chinese lady snaps and starts her whole cursing and spell routine right next to him. Not to be fazed by this ‘not bubble gum rap’ guy just talks louder, and tries not to look at crazy Chinese lady who is standing next to him. Crazy Chinese lady is offended that someone would try to out crazy her, and makes her spells louder. They both continued to get louder in a very funny but weird ‘crazy off’ until the next stop, at which time I had to get off.

So I have a dog that is so spoilt that only Pert Plus will do, a picture of a porcelain executioner, and I’ve survived the crazy train … what a city!


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