I Fear the Lady in Yellow


December 20th, 2010
Time: 2:33 p.m.
Location: The Coffee Bean

Watch out, Sarah Palin, you’re not the only one who can go rogue.

For the World Expo, Shanghai decided to “heighten” security in their metro stations by installing these ridiculous x-ray machines, airport style.  Heighten is in quotation marks because these stations are a total joke.  There are usually one or two people sitting behind the machine, charged with the task of rooting out any undesirable materials such as knives, guns, or hair spray.  More often than not they sit there with a glazed over expression on their faces.  My friend Miles told me about a time that these women were struggling to get their bag onto the conveyor, so the man stepped out from behind the screen, loaded the bag and then stayed to help unload it from the other side . . . 

Dear sir, please never apply for a position with TSA.

Usually, to avoid situations such as that one, there is another person sporting a yellow smock whose job it is to make sure people put said bags on the conveyor if he or she so deems it necessary.  Since the end of Expo, these yellow-smockers seem to have let this job lapse.  Now, most of the time I see them chatting to glazed-over screen guy.  

Since I consider this security check a nuisance and complete waste of time, I have ceased to stop and unload my bag.  It has been over a month since anyone has even bothered to make me.

Until this morning.

As usual, I just kept walking right on past the yellow-smocked lady.  Every other morning this has not been a problem.  Today, apparently, it was.  I had my ipod cranked up, but I definitely heard some yelling in Chinese and I figured it was probably directed at me, but I played the  “I’m a white person and have no idea what you’re saying” card and kept going.  Right before I reached the turn styles I felt a tug on the back of my bag and more yelling.  At this point it was just too late to turn around without looking like a total idiot, not to mention I needed to stand by my beliefs (i.e., your x-ray machine can shove it). So, I fumbled in my pocket and prayed that my metro card still had some money on it.   I pushed through and turned to go up the escalator and was met with a pair of very, very angry eyes.

I am genuinely afraid to take the metro tomorrow. Who knows what she could be hiding under that yellow smock? She might hair-spray me to death.

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