So Saturday after grabbing some dinner at my favorite place Dos Tacos instead of heading home I decided to jump on the train and just get off at some random stop I had never been too. After I got off I started walking around and within about 10 minutes I started to recognize buildings and all of the sudden I knew exactly where I was. The city really has been shrinking for me. I have found that downtown I don’t have to use the trains as much because everything really is pretty compact and within walking distance.
Now the “highlight” (low point) of this trip was the bus ride home. It was about 11pm when I got on the bus to head home. At this time a lot of people where leaving so the bus filled up fast. I got one of the last seats. It was near the front and was an aisle seat. At that point everyone on the bus had seats but within the next few stops passengers started filling the aisle due to the lack of seats. Needless to say when you are in an aisle seat it does not take long before someone is fairly close to you. Now while I love my personal space I have become accustomed to having less of it particularly on the buses and trains but that still didn’t prepare me for this night.
A few stops after I had been picked up a man got on the bus and he had a really large gut, a true beer belly. I noticed mostly because that isn’t something I’ve seen on many Korean men so it really stuck out, yes literally too. He ended up being the person closest to me but at first he faced the other direction which was great for me in that my personal space was not affected at all but sadly that would not last. I was listening to my I-Pod and enjoying the ride when suddenly before I really realized what was happening the man had turned my direction placed both of his hands up on the railing above my seat and allowed his very large gut to start smashing into my head. I literally almost yelled out loud and shoved him away from me. I looked up and his eyes were closed and he was simply moving wherever the motion of the bus took him. It became clear he was drunk. I held in my scream but after the first few hits to my head I really didn’t know what to do. He wasn’t wearing a jacket and the polo shirt he was wearing was skin tight on him. So when he touched me the polo shirt seemed invisible and it felt like his actual body was pressing up against me. I mean within a matter of seconds I had learned far more about this man then I ever wanted to know such as the fact that he seemed to have a good amount of hair on his belly and worse I discovered that he had an outie belly button because his outie got innie my ear. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I literally wanted to heave him away from me.
I tried crouching towards the person sitting next to me but that didn’t go unnoticed. He had his laptop open and was watching a video and I think he thought I was trying to look over his shoulder and watch too. So I moved back to my space and started crouching down trying to lay my head on my lap in hopes of getting my head below the strike zone of this man’s stomach. As I tried to do that I had to grab my legs with my hands so basically I was seating in the fetal position. I was then faced with the catch-22 decision of what to do with my head. If I looked towards the window the person next to me would think I was looking at him from the psychotic position of having my head in my lap as if I was hoping to gaze up into his eyes but if I turned my head the other way the ever dangerous gut from outie space was looming ready to attack at any moment and I didn’t want my eye to be violated the same way my ear had been. So I just stuck my face into my bag which was lying on my lap.
Now beside the obvious difficulties of riding in this position I was still fighting off a cold so my nose what not particularly clear and my throat was bothering me so I ended up coughing a lot causing new joyous amounts of mucus to come up my throat and into my mouth. I didn’t even last a minute in this position before I had to sit up straight again and yes I got hit again, thankfully this time my shoulder took the brunt of the hit. So from that point on I just angled my body so that he hit my shoulder and did not get near my head again. And yes after getting hit in the head by a man’s stomach getting hit in the shoulder by the same stomach feels like a victory. After about 20 minutes enough people had gotten off the bus that the man moved but the damage had already been done. For the rest of the ride home I had flashbacks of his first attack when he violated the temple (on my head). I could still hear the song I was listening to at the moment I was hit, “Life is Wonderful” by Jason Mraz. And before the first strike my life truly was wonderful I was so innocent and optimistic then alas the world had changed I would never be the same again. Okay so maybe I went a little overboard there at the end but honestly I got smacked in the head with a man’s gut for 20 minutes. It is not an experience I would wish upon anyone. Yet another fantastic experience courtesy of public transportation, large amounts of people and of course alcohol.