Thursday, January 07, 2010

Random encounters with strangers

I took the MTR to Sai Wan Ho last night, and for only the third time this year wasted time playing patience on my ipod. Although for some reason Apple call it 'Klondike'. Is this because they have no patience? Ha, ha, and indeed ha.

I was trying to avoid the world at large, so I had my headphones on and something shouty playing, but this did not dissuade a small child from tapping my arm and asking me questions. What was I playing? Could we play it together? Could we both listen to some music?

Born and raised in London, I know you're never meant to talk to anyone on public transport ever, and now I'm a proper Hong Kong germophobe I really don't want my earphones stuck in somebody else's ears. But it was difficult to explain about a conception of privacy to an eight year old, in a train rammed full of commuters, when all you really want to do is play patience and listen to a man shouting from eighteen years ago.

The pipsqueak kept asking questions and fiddling with my ipod. I think he was fascinated by this piece of technology, in so far as it was almost three years old and he couldn't understand why anyone would drag around something so old and outdated. And when he gave it back to me, the volume was turned up full and my ears almost exploded.

After tormenting me with questions, he moved down the carriage to talk to somebody else, and possibly question their choice of gadget. I was left wondering whether he was odd for talking to me, or if I was odder for wanting to avoid human contact whenever I could.

Apart from writing this, perhaps. Yes, the solace I get from the intellectual to-and-fro of talking to myself every day.


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