Thursday, May 01, 2008

Throwdown in Yanjiao

So I witnessed a very humorous altercation yesterday morning. When I walked out of the local grocery store, I heard a loud crash of window breaking and then I saw a bunch of seasoned duck feet flying through the air. A lot of yelling started up as another wave of duck feet went flying in the opposite direction. It turns out that a customer had been pissed off for some reason, threw something that broke the glass of a store’s window, and then the store owner had thrown food at the customer. The customer then retaliated with her own barrage of duck feet and attempted to make a quick getaway.

A younger guy came running out of nowhere, grabbed the customer so that she could not get away, and then started yelling bloody murder at her. Unfortunately I didn’t know what they both were saying, but it was a pretty heated sputtering of insults. Another girl appeared and tried to break it up by trying to talk to the guy. From the looks of it, she was either the sister or girlfriend of the guy. None of that worked though, because the customer gave the guy a 5-fingered ‘hello’ across his face. The dude was livid.

He pretty much went ape shit after that and started wailing on the customer with fists and kicks. If that GF/sister was not there to hold back some of that kinetic energy, that customer would have gotten her ass kicked. Just as it got interesting, the store owner came out and joined in the yelling and insults. During this time, a large crowd had gathered around the peeps. Traffic was stopped and boy was it entertaining. A policeman was standing near the crowd when this all started, but after he saw what was going on, he casually wandered away. I guess civil disobedience is not considered a crime around here. A few people in the crowd started yelling “hit her!” in Chinese, and these words I actually know, so like a good American I am, I joined the mob in expressing my want for more action “da ta!”, I yelled.

Sadly, the store owner seemed to only want to say a few key sentences and was not after blood. If I was her I would have beat the living shit out of that customer because now she has to pay to get a window replaced. The altercation subsided after the store owner coaxed the boy and girl to withdraw, and the customer just disappeared into the crowds of people.

I find it interesting that seeing a girl getting hit by a guy did not initiate an intervention by any males witnessing this. In America, many males would be quick to intervene. Yet another cultural difference between the two countries.