Monday, November 3, 2008

Poor Career Moves

I’ve noticed a trend in the last 97 days. People are naturally weird. I would like to think that we each have a peculiar uniqueness, a fingerprint characteristic if you will. However, I’ve realized that there are the chosen few who truly try to bend the boundaries of social normality. The Jackson Pollock’s to our Thomas Kinkaid’s. I would like to dedicate this following list to my top three personal favorites we’ve encountered on this trip.

1. Bush Man: San Francisco-
Here’s a guy who spends his afternoons hiding in front of a trash bin holding two branches of foliage over his face…imitating a bush. Then, as an unsuspecting pedestrian crosses the sidewalk, bush man jumps up with the fury of Mother Nature scaring the poor little nine year old girl on her way to see the sea lions at Fisherman’s Warf.

2. Elephant Man: Bangkok-
On our first night in Thailand, Erik and I took a walk through the streets of Bangkok. Two blocks past our hostel we noticed something in the corner of our eye. A real elephant…standing in the alley. This was the first elephant we encountered on our trip; needless to say we were awestruck.

Now you may say, “but Nick, you’re in Thailand, what did you expect…polar bears?” And my response is, “Relax, I’m getting to my point.”
Bangkok is the Manhattan of South East Asia, the central hub. Now imagine seeing an elephant rolling down Wall Street. Pretty strange (although, unlike NY, the elephant wasn’t followed by a PETA protest).

Now, this elephant wasn’t alone. He was accompanied by his banana sandwich toting friend…let’s call him Steve. Steve’s pastime is walking his pet elephant through Bangkok convincing people how much fun it would be to buy his banana sandwiches and feed it to his elephant. I mean who can say no to an elephant? Genius.

3. The 40 Year Old Subway Rapper: Paris-
After spending the first hours of the morning (the ones usually reserved for deep sleeping) snaking through the endless labyrinth that is the Paris Metro system, I finally arrived on the last train home. As soon as I leaned back against my sterile, pleather seat, I noticed an older gentleman wheeling a speaker through the door in front of me. Before I realized what was happening the doors shut. I was too late.

Old Man: “LE LE LE LE LE (crazy French yelling)”
Suddenly, the speakers lit up. Our car was bumping whether we liked it or not. This man, who looked like a guy that sold insurance and drove a Prius, was now introducing me to the new wave of French Hip-Hop, subway style.

(Un)Fortunately, my metro stop was far enough to experience the ill styles of ‘Le Petite Technique’ through the entirety of two original songs (actually, I’m pretty sure his second tune was just him rapping over an old Gloria Estefan song). Thank you Paris Metro.

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