Baked beans, bananas, dark chocolate (of course) and one dirty old potato. I reach behind for my bag and catch sight of something rather creepy. A chicken claw peeking out of a plastic bag. The pointed nails curling in my direction. I shouldn’t be surprised really. They just loveee chicken claws over here. But still. To see one gripping onto the edge of a shopping bag is enough to make me squirm and laugh in equal measures. As a new-born veggie, I’m prone to squirming at the sight of any meat (even when I ate meat I couldn’t face it, hypocritical…yes) but chicken claws. Come on folks. What could ever be appetising about nibbling on some poor chickens foot. I once ordered chicken soup, back on one sickly winters day. I did not expect to find chicken feet floating beneath the murky surface, and yet that is precisely what lay beneath. I quickly fished them out and prayed no fingernails lurked beyond.
This is just one of many observations I made today that reminded me where I am and that no Siobhan, this is not home sweet home. It’s not like I needed the reality check, I mean I’m bombarded with the evidence daily, but well sometimes I daydream and quite frankly, could be anywhere. Well not today. Today I was definitely in good old China. And to put it simply, my opinions on that subject change as often as my daily food intolerances. Which would be alot.
An elevator door closes ON me as I enter. The old lady inside simply couldn’t care less. I pass little boys with shaven heads and spiky fringes, the latest fashion trend?! They carry guns. Toy guns. But nonetheless, guns. They fire them at a nearby crying girl, who huffs and puffs and continues sipping her milk.
As I get off the metro I squeeze my way through the crowds, dodging the oncoming traffic and puffs of smoke, which always, without a doubt, will float in my direction. By the time I reach the dinosaur park my chest feels as tight as if I’d just puffed my way through a whole pack in the time it took me to scramble away from the hundreds of electric bicycle men who, everyday, will try and intertwine along my path, hoping, but never succeeding in getting me to pay them to scoot me the ten minute walk to work.
I dodge spit, smoke, girls that hiss (really a girl hissed at me one time, just like a snake, I swear her eyes burned red, and I hadn’t even crossed her path), bicycles that like to pretend to run me over. Eventually I reach my destination and then I get the pleasure of queuing up behind approximately 50 people, just so I can ride the elevator, clock in before 8.44am, and successfully be on time.
But hey, I made the decision to come here?! And even if it’s not as comfortable as home, it sure makes for an interesting journey.