Have you ever seen a grown man fighting a tiny woman? I have, and it’s not dissimilar to what I imagined a ye olde circus freak show would look like: Spectators gathered in a curious circle around a hideous sight unlike anything they have witnessed before. Be amazed by the gnome man’s exaggerated displays of aggression. Gasp as the fearless five ft. woman, teeth gnashing, battles anyone who crosses her path.
Fighting is a skill I don’t have. My fear of being punched in the face seems to trump all of my attack instincts. I am, however, excellent at throwing a catty stare across a room and speaking in a highly sarcastic and therefore incredibly annoying manner when provoked.
Beijingers do not seem to have this “I promised myself I’d avoid getting maimed at all costs” mentality. Like water reaching boiling point, fights erupt from nothing. Entire lanes of traffic come to a complete stop as two drivers fight over an imagined car accident. Both of their cars are pristine and scratch-free, neither driver is hurt, yet they feel the to yell in each other’s faces about how safe they, their cars and their passengers are.
The fight between the grown man who resembled a garden ornament and the tiny coked-up girl (I say “coked-up” because it’s the only viable explanation for her near foaming at the mouth aggression) was no different.
It started out simply enough. Woman wants a lift from the man, who happens to be a cab driver. The man says “no,” one assumes because it was dinnertime and dinner is a very important meal in China. Woman opens cab door and proceeds to remove every object from inside said cab. This will not end well.
Like the formerly mentioned circus patrons, I stood clutching my supermarket shopping, transfixed by the absurdity of it all. The gnome man/cab driver got out from behind the wheel, stormed over to the woman and in the most bizarre attempt at male dominance I have ever seen, began to slap the her. And not in a hard open-hand-across-the-face kind of way, in a rotating-windmill-ala-12-year-old-playground-scuffle kind of way.
The tiny pocket rocket of a woman wasn’t going to take that, and Jean-Claude Van Damme-after-a-night-spent-at-the-bottom-of-a-whiskey-bottle style kicks came into play. Not one to be outdone, the taxi driving gnome returned in kind. There seemed to be no end to this poorly executed play fight until the woman decided it was about time for a good old-fashioned sit-in. She smoothed her shirt, pulled out her phone, sat on the road in front of the cab and called the police. There was no way I was going home now.
Sitting on the curb, eyes wide with awe and anticipation of what was to come next, I watched as the red and blue lights of the police car rolled into view. Both parties marched up to the cop, who was busy fidgeting with the fly on his pants, and began screaming at him. My Chinese was not good enough to understand Lunatic, and apparently neither was the police officer’s, so that was where I left them.
Collecting my shopping I hailed a cab. Thankfully, the driver agreed to take me home even though it was dinnertime. Otherwise, I may have had to throwdown.