Thursday, July 17, 2003

Crosstown Traffic. There's a large shopping area within walking distance of our complex that, during the night, resembles the set from Blade Runner. Last night we went on another discovery and shopping mission and our first sight was a video store roped off by the cops as they confisicated all the bootleg dvds. Not to worry, though. A middle aged Chinese woman watching us watch figured out what we wanted and hissed "DVD? DVID?" We followed her through two dark allies into a very small room containing a TV, three small children, a sputtering fan and four large packing boxes of bootlegs. Julian bought about six for a total of $4.50.
Later we went to a department store where I found a copy of Matrix Reloaded with the slogan: "The White Man Wanted a Stud to Breed Slaves" displayed prominently on the case. Matrix Reloaded, of course, has nothing to do with porn slave traffic. I bought it for the blurb alone.
We eventually repaired to a sidewalk restaurant where, as we relaxed over adult beverages, a scooter bearing a female passenger crashed into the front of a store across the street from us. The traffic here is haphazard at best, with pedestrians, bikes, trucks, taxis and cycles all competing for inches of space. The driver, a young guy in his 20s, was OK, but his passenger was knocked unconscious. No blood, but it was frightful. A crowd gathered immediately. One of our teachers was yelling "Call the hospital!" "Call the 911!" while another one was trying to prevent the driver from roughly lifting the young woman up and slapping her face.
We eventually backed off and let society take its course. The driver finally picked the girl up under his arms and carried her down the street in search of a taxi, where presumably she got better care.
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