Monday, September 24, 2007

Things that made me angry today (abridged version)

- The middle-aged woman sitting next to me on the subway to Kowloon, who had the makeup of a prostitute and the body of a john, squawking in shrill Cantonese past her cell phone and directly into my ear for three stops. Thanks, lady, for showing me the downside of cell phone access in subways.

- The 91 bus which (1) drove right by me at its origin spot at the Central Bus Station, forcing me to run after it in my flip-flops and catch it in the station driveway (to the driver's credit, he opened the door and let me in); (2) after picking me up, failed to move a single inch for seven full minutes because the driver was yielding to every other car, bus, and tumbling piece of garbage on the road; (3) made 3 consecutive stops averaging nearly 30 new passengers per stop (I counted), at one point letting on 20 passengers, closing the door, and failing to re-enter the flow of traffic for so long that the driver re-opened the door and let on 10 more people; and (4) took 35 minutes to run a route that normally takes about 12, which is really more the fault of Hong Kong rush hour traffic, but I am an unforgiving jerk.

- My "Diesel" messenger bag from Kuala Lumpur, purchased for US $10, which managed to survive less than two weeks of use before suffering a broken strap, a broken zipper, and a half-torn laptop partition. Honestly, shoddy workmanship and cheap materials ("metal" clasps with the consistency of playdough) alone cannot possibly account for this. I was not doing anything remotely taxing with the bag. This was not wear and tear due to poor construction, this was a cruel Malaysian trick, a series of booby traps installed to spite Americans, and perhaps damage their electronics in the process. I am convinced that whoever produced this bag actually produced it at a greater cost than was necessary, in order to include these little pitfalls for the unwary buyer. Bah.

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