Tuesday, May 30, 2006

To boo or not to boo boors - is that a question?

Read an interesting article in the South China Morning Post this morning - an interview with a guy who has become quite famous in the Chinese internet world in less than a month. Simple enough story – The Hero Of Our Story sits on Number 68X Kowloon bus. Co-passenger is talking quite loudly on his mobile. THOOS taps co-passenger’s shoulder and asks him to tone it down a bit. Co-passenger turns around and blasts THOOS for a little under 6 minutes. This video has scored more than 2 million hits since when it first came out on April 29, and the co-passenger is now notorious as the “Bus Uncle”. You can find the video here and might find it quite entertaining – Bus Uncle video. (Viewer warning: Beyond 3 minutes, the video gets quite un-“under 18 years” worthy (no, no, not that kind of under 18, just a lot of “macho” abuse), viewer please exercise discretion in watching. If you’re under 18 and have clicked on this link, you are a bad boy/girl!)

I felt quite sorry for THOOS till I read his interview this morning. Sample this quote, “The most important thing I learnt from the incident is that I must work hard to shorten my working hours so that I can go home earlier and avoid taking the same bus with Bus Uncle again… (But) I am not mad at him, as I know he has pressure ”. Pressure? Like what - peer pressure? atmospheric pressure? Well, duh! It’s one thing to be empathetic, it’s another to give boors like Bus Uncle a reason to behave the way they do.

If I could meet him, I'd probably ask him if he had a brother in India I could bother for some instant pressure release? Every time I need to let some steam off, I’ll shadow this guy, talk loudly around him and wait for the fatal shoulder tap (fatal for him, that is!), when I turn around and let flow a choice stream of pressure-releasing-words, in multiple languages. After which, he'll go around telling everybody how he understands I "have pressure"... maybe they'll call this the HongKong Habit, along the lines of the Stockholm Syndrome - empathise with those who abuse. Boors rule!


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