And a good evening to you from across the globe after another GREAT DAY in the Lion City. So first off, the Bull is happy to report that he got (at least somewhat) back on form in the running aspect last night, logging 20:20 for a 5K (yes, Dinger - ain't no summer vacation gonna save you from the Hurricane...). That's under 6:40 a mile, and I'm really pleased with that. It was the first time that running has felt good and truly been fun in over a month, and it felt LOADS better than the Sydney run. I'm pretty much gonna stick to 5K's and 5 milers for the rest of my time - in between long sessions of beer and chicken wings, of course...
So I realize that we are behind on Sydney, and I promise we'll get to it. Jenny's going to give you another installment tomorrow, and then I'll take over again starting on Saturday or Sunday (once Muffin Puffin abandons me again). However, I simply had to relate a CLASSIC moment that happened to me today. I'll let all of you be the judge - have I become "that expat," or would you too have reacted this way.
So I'm in line at Subway (of course - after all, it is a Tuesday), which is HEAVING because of a new coupo'n deal. It should be noted that Sing Sing LOVES it's 80's music, but today achieved a new low when Ghostbusters" came on after "Material Girl." That really should have been a first sign indicator. Anyhoo,I order my usual: "Footlong tuna on parmesan o-ray-gone-OOOO - cheese and toast, lah." As you've all seen and can appreciate, the sub then moves through a very sophisticated assembly line involving 1 chick cutting the bread, another scooping the tuna, another applying the cheese, and then a fourth throwing the sandwich into the oven for 2.5 seconds. So far, all was humming along. But THEN - I got to the homeboy with the veggies.
I ask for cucumbers, at which point the guy grabs about 3 tons of lettuce. I cut him off with a rather polite, "Wait! No lettuce, please. Just cucumber," and he looks at me with true "I hate you" contempt. He throws the lettuce back into the tray (such a powerful expression of his hatred of the man - I think he should protest on Wall Street) and then proceeds to give me the rest of my veggies. When he asks which sauce, I say mustard, at which point he grabs something that LOOKS like mustard on the outside and proceeds to dump a BUCKET of something creamy onto my sandwich. I ask him what that is and he says, "Honey Mustard." (Let's pause here for a second, shall we? Who the @#$& orders HONEY MUSTARD with tuna? PLEASE tell me if you know someone, because I would LOVE to meet that person). I then say, "I asked for mustard, sorry," and what does homeboy do? Roll his eyes, grab the regular mustard, and dump about a GALLON of it on top of the tuna. He then closes the sandwich and passes it onto the gal at the counter, who has no idea what's just happened and can't tell by the "I can't wait to burn all of your houses down" look on my face. She rings up the meal and I say, "No - that guy needs to make me a new sandwich. This is NOT what I asked for." You could have heard a pin drop in that place.
NO ONE knows how to handle this situation. They can't just charge me for it because I don't want to pay. They can't start over because I'm no longer in line. And they can't let the next guy through because they've already rung up my sale but can't take the money until I take the sandwich. It is a standoff more epic than the battle for Helms Deep. And how to we break the stalemate? Throw all the veggies off my sandwich, add a few new ones, and put on FOUR GALLONS of mustard. The guy was ready to stab me. It. Was. AWESOME.
Truth be told, I do feel I'm losing my humanity in leaps and bounds at this point. I can no longer tolerate people cutting me off to get onto the subway before me. I used to just let things like this roll off me, but the fact that it's SO DELIBERATE and happens in almost EVERYTHING YOU DO has just rocked me off-kilter. You see, over here there is a section where you stand to allow people on the train to exit first. I pride myself on getting right at (but NEVER over) the line, and I wait for folks to pass through. Periodically you have a 700 year old man or woman who just goes right into the middle, gets run over by EVERYONE exiting the train, and then walks on - I'm fine with those folks. This is technology they never dreamed would exist, and I can accept that they might not really understand the concept of things like electric doors, orderly lines, etc. However, the dude that puts an elbow into you to move in front of you just before the door opens and MOVES you out of the way? Yeah, I can't really abide that. And so I've started knocking a lot of people around lately (only after they start it). Yesterday a 60 year old lady in a full sari tried to push past me. Yeah, she got body-checked. Mom - I promise you I'm still an okay guy. I was fine in Australia, as things flowed on a very even keel. I've just hit a breaking point that won't be fixed until I'm once again staring at chicken casserole, strawberry salad, and you spaghetti. And speaking of home cookin'...
Tonight Muffin and I met up with Nancy and John for dinner at Smokey's BBQ. This place was AMAZING - run by an American cat with a smoker in the back, they had brisket, pulled pork, and ribs that just fell OFF THE BONE. Seriously - this place had proper food, and the price was right. And best of all, they even had Archipelago Brewing! I tried the new "smoked IPA," which was good - but only for a half pint. Luckily it's cooler right now (owing to some MASSIVE storms that have been sweeping through - probably remnants of the typhoon), and so you can get a darker beer down - no way I could have killed that puppy in May or June.
And last but CERTAINLY not least - CONGRATS TO THE RICE CLAN ON THE NEW ADDITION!!!!!! CAN'T WAIT TO MEET BABY JACK!!!!! WE LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!!!
Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!
(Potentially heartless) Sam and (still wonderful, compassionate, and HOT) Jenny