Quit Picking Your Nose

A turtle in the park Let's talk about disgusting public behaviour.

I'll begin with nose-picking. It's something most everyone observes once in awhile. One can pull up at a traffic light and watch the invisible man in the next car engage in a little deep-core drilling while waiting for the light to change. Most people have the grace to conceal it or use a tissue.

"It wasn't that he picked his nose, but when he rolled it into a little ball, it got to me!"

But I'm astounded by the numbers of men and women who have no qualms about shoving a finger where they ought not, in full view of everyone else. I see it everywhere. Granted, the air is bad and mucous membranes have to work overtime to compensate, but I wish people would show some class. Sometimes I feel like yelling: "Quit picking your nose!" I quote a phrase I once heard: It wasn't that he picked his nose, but when he rolled it into a little ball, it got to me!

Spitting. When living in a city of millions, spitting means watching where one steps.

The grossest spitter I saw was a schoolgirl sharing a cigarette with her friend at a food court table in a mall. After every drag, the girl gobbed onto the floor. Not once or twice, but after every drag. New smoker. Her friend spat as well, but instead she used an empty French-fry carton. The cleaning woman said nothing, she just mopped and moved on.

I try not to think too much about restaurant kitchens, otherwise I'd never eat. Some places I know to avoid, but others look good. Some are first class all the way; prices reflect that.

Mabel and I had lunch in a place that didn't look too dirty, but it wasn't until after I finished eating I noticed what looked like a tiny bug in my dish of hot sauce. It was difficult to see because it was the same colour and size as the chilies, but the antennae gave it away. It was quite dead; drowned in chili oil. I'm still alive, that means I didn't catch a bug from my little friend.

· ƒ ·

I could go on, but let me change the subject. I don't want to turn you off; Hong Kong isn't a bad place to live. I get to see some wonderful things along with the bad.

"... a small park in the middle of the city: an oasis, if you will."

I found a small park in the middle of the city: an oasis, if you will.

It was green, quiet, and filled with singing birds. Small waterfalls flowed here and there. Elderly folks lounged on benches and low stone walls.

The ponds were filled with Japanese Koi (giant goldfish) and turtles who were either swimming or working on their tans atop the rocks. Chinese antiquities sat throughout the park. A small museum depicted schools in the New Territories near the end of the Qing Dynasty. The kids had the front halves of their heads shaved and wore a single long braid down their backs in the Manchu style of the period.

Even the dragonflies were different, not blue, green or purple like the ones I've seen in Canada, but hot pink. I had to look twice to be certain my eyes weren't tricking me.

Parks such as this are the perfect way to get away from people and some of their more disgusting habits.

That doesn't mean you won't find folks picking their noses, but at least they'll be less noticeable.

November, 1998

Next Tale: The KMB Workout

All Tales: Index