Tim Bu Dong

On the metro back from work I was slumped on a seat talking to my workmate with my feet resting on the central pole. My feet were perhaps at knee-height on the pole, which stood in the middle of the carriage aisle. An old shanghai bloke opposite me pointed at my shoes and ranted slightly. My teaching assistant who was also there, translated to me that he wanted to know if in my country this kind of foot resting was acceptable? I said yes. Imminently about to place the offending trainers back to ground level, I was then bombarded with another shoe-based tirade. “Screw it”, I thought, “this bloke is getting the foot treatment.” For the remainder of the journey he yelled and pointed at my feet until even his friends were rather embarrassed. It got to the point that every time he tried to yell I’d interrupt him with a hasty “tim bu dong!” which means ‘I don’t understand.’ He would then go quiet for a split second before attempting another rant. “Tim bu dong” I’d hush him calmly. Once again he’d rev up. “Tim bu dong.” It was like that bit in Austin Powers when Dr.Evil is silencing his son by repeatedly saying “shhhh!” Amazing. When we got to my stop I cleaned the pole with my sleeve and went to shake his hand. He was literally frozen in fury. I was almost certainly in the wrong but I’ve seen enough people being thoughtless around these parts that I didn’t feel too guilty. Actually, I bloody loved it. Put your chill-pants on granddad!

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One thought on “Tim Bu Dong

  1. Well I commend the old guy. There are too many slovernly layabouts who have little or scant respect for public services and their elders…. This it seems now includes you!!!!

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