Balcony, 18th floor apartment
at the rail watching
eight lane intersection below
Foshan, Guangdong, P.R.C.
The traffic light turns red and vehicles start to move. A van comes from one way and runs the red light as a motorbike is going through the intersection. The van nails the motorbike. Luckily, neither one is going too fast, but the motorbike driver gets knocked off his bike, slides.
The motorcyclist picks himself up, brushes off the dust and steps toward the van as the driver is getting out to check to see if the motorcyclist is all right. The motorcyclist lays into the van driver employing all nine tones of Cantonese. The van driver instantly forgets he is at fault and starts a face-saving yelling match with the motorcyclist. The motorcyclist takes this as his cue and throws a punch at the van driver. The van driver fades back and delivers a kick to the motorcyclist. The motorcyclist blocks the kick and then a full on kung fu brawl erupts.
A crowd gathers around the fight in the middle of the intersection. Traffic in both directions is blocked. The crowd grows, the motorbike lies in the street, and the van sits in the intersection with the driver’s door open. While they are busily trying to maim one another, I notice that a new player in the crowd is making his way around the back of the van toward the driver’s side door, and quicker than shit he reaches into the van and pulls a bag off the seat. He thrusts the bag under his arm and runs off in the opposite direction from the fight. The fight continues until the police arrive.
By this time I’m finished. I figure that after witnessing an accident, a fight, and a theft anything else is going to be boring in comparison. So I go back inside and chuckle myself quietly to sleep.
Sometimes it pays to have insomnia and be awake at two o’clock in the morning. Even when you have to get up at 6!