I have no love for sea creatures, but I’m much more bummed out about Sludgie the whale dying than any of this crazed Korean business (though reading “Richard McBeef” did suck a few minutes of my time). It’s not every day a whale shows up walking distance from your Brooklyn apartment. I hate it when the brain makes random ultimatums. I was thinking if that whale dies, the world really had gone to shit (the past week has brought all sorts of personal weirdness into my household but since this is the 2007 Project Me, not the ‘90s version, I must keep mum) and then I tried taking it back because I was pretty sure it wouldn’t survive the Gowanus Canal. But it was too late.
Last night, not on purpose, I caught an Iconoclasts episode with Eddie Vedder and Laird something or another, a surfer I’d never heard of and they were all on about the type of people who love the ocean (iconoclasts, obviously). Totally not me, I’m an ocean-hater. Well, a beach-loather, more like.
I’ve been planning a trip to Mexico, possibly next month because everyone in the universe has been except me but there’s no way I’m going to Tulum or Cancun or an eco-resort or a frightening all-inclusive destination. Food-wise, Oaxaca is supposed to be amazing but I’m not crazy about civil unrest. I’m fairly certain my destination will be Mexico City. It’s all the rage. I’d just better not get robbed or kidnapped or I will seriously never vacation in North America again. Despite some thinking S.E. Asia is troubled I’ve never had a problem; the only place I’ve experienced crime while traveling was in stupid Vancouver, Canada. Lame, eh?
Speaking of troubled locales, I made a minute mention recently that James brought up Beijing as a relocation option that had been presented to him. He’s so not into it, while I totally am. Say, a year in China wouldn’t kill anyone, right? I’m 98% sure it won’t happen, though tag along business trips are a very real possibility. That’s why I was entertained by yesterday’s New York Times article, "No Spitting on the Road to Olympic Glory, Beijing Says" (it’s been on top ten most emailed, which I understand, unlike that inexplicable #1 slot for last Friday’s "36 Hours in Portland, Ore." mess. Fuck the pseudo-hip egalitarian bars with patrons in wheelchairs, this is the Portland of my childhood).
Swearing, I have no issue with. Bad grammar, I can handle when it’s ESL not idiotic native. Spitting, I’m not so crazy about, I’m constantly dodging sidewalk loogies, as it is. But line cutting is a serious deal-breaker.
“Last week, the city commemorated ‘Queuing Day,’ an event held on the 11th of every month because the date symbolizes an orderly line. Volunteers wearing satin Queuing Day sashes shooed rush-hour commuters into lines at busy subway stations, while hospital administrators and a few city officials handed out long-stemmed roses to patients who stood in line to pay their bills or pick up medicines.”
Despite being moderately anti-authoritarian, I love rule-following. It’s one of the many reasons I’m nuts for Singapore (I accidentally registered, yes, registered [only a public Singaporean event would require such formality] for this Singapore Day festival in Central Park on Saturday, as Singaporean because that was the default pull-down setting. But it turns out they’re limiting the amount of slots for non-Singaporeans, also very Singaporean [they ask for age and photos with job applications too] and New Yorkers are now shit out of luck. Now, I wonder if I show up and am clearly Caucasian if I’ll be publicly humiliated or caned or something. Hawkers in midtown are a complete recipe for disaster anyway, if you ask me. I predict mayhem and disappointment and will likely check out the Bronx Target instead for a different style of trauma.).
I don’t like to single out ethnic groups (ok, I do) for generalized offences but it’s no secret that some of the worst subway offenders are elderly Chinese. If anyone’s going to push on before letting riders off, it’s one of them. However, all ages and ethnicities seem to have a problem with this same concept applied to business doors. I always let people come out before I enter, yet this is never reciprocated. When I’m leaving a store, restaurant, post office, wherever, the person approaching the building always barges in while I’m clearly in the doorway trying to leave. And I’m not a slowpoke, so they can burn in hell for their impatience.
I don’t know if I could handle an entire city of door-rushers and queue-wreckers. It gives new meaning to the old grade school lunch line slang, Chinese cuts. That’s right up there with the other fifth grade chestnut, “no cuts, no butts, no coconuts.” Tough times call for tough words.