December 21, 2009

Gobs of Spit

One of the favourite pastimes of my Chinese comrades is to spit noisily in public. Whenever I hear a thunderous throat clearing noise followed by a symphony of spray and splotch, I know another gob of spit has left the mouth of a citizen and found its way on to the pavement. If there is silence following the release, the spittle has most likely landed on a living creature or some other absorbent material. The exact composition of the dribble varies, sometimes containing phlegm or leftovers from a past meal mixed with the saliva.

'Do not gob anywhere' signs do little to discourage the activity. The subzero temperatures of winter bring along miniature ice skating rinks, as each new drop of spit freezes in place on the pavement where it landed. Sometimes I hear the windup behind me and try to predict the gender of the spitter, turning around to check only after the drool has been discharged. More often than not, I guess incorrectly.


"Hhhhhhhhhhghhhhhhhhhhhhhooiikkkkkkkkkkkhhhhhhhh......pppthhhwwwwiee" - Anonymous