Saturday, November 13, 2004

Darth Vomitous

According to my contract, I have to work two Saturdays a month. While I usually start at 7AM on weekdays (entailing a 5:00-5:20AM wakeup time), Saturdays are late days: the foreign teachers start at 10:30AM, and we all do a solid 8-hour block until 6:30PM.

I had an interesting surprise on my way to work this morning. I normally stand at the spot for subway car #9 at Nakseongdae Station (Line 2 subways are ten cars long), because this puts me close to the exit stairwell when I reach my disembarkation point, Kangnam Station. Specifically, I stand at location 9-2 (i.e., car 9, door 2).

The subway arrived; door 9-2 opened, and I was immediately hit by the stench of fresh vomit.

The vomit had been covered with newspaper and appeared to be sleeping, uncannily replicating the drunken behavior of the stupid bastard who'd yacked it onto the floor. I assume the newspaper was there to prevent the vomit pool from spreading. It was impressively sized, that pool, measuring about 1.5 meters along its long axis. The newspapers gave it the appearance of some amoeba-like, homeless alien trying to protect itself from the cruel terran elements.

I remember a Polish joke from long ago. It required visual aids: you needed a bowl of water, some black pepper, and a drop of dishwashing liquid. You lightly sprinkled some black pepper into the bowl of water, covered your index fingertip with the soap, then said, "Here's a swimming pool. Everybody's minding their own business, when suddenly... the Pollacks jump into the pool!"-- at which point you jab your soapy finger into the water. All you chem and physics majors know what happens next: the black pepper zings immediately away from your fingertip to the bowl's interior perimeter, like people scrambling to get out of the pool.

That's what Car #9's passengers were doing. The vomit was our Pollack.

I was running behind, so I couldn't afford to move to another car. I therefore endured ten minutes awash in vomit stench as we trundled to Kangnam Station.

And I did it all for you.


No comments: