Friday, June 14, 2013

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A strange encounter in the Taipei MRT

6/14/2013 Taiwan Explorer
Picture this: It's late, after 9 pm. I'm riding the MRT home after a long day at work, I'm tired and like usually, immersed in my iPhone. The train wasn't that crowded anymore, there were still few seats available, the main aisle was mostly empty. At one particular station a teenage girl comes in. I'd say she was around 16 years old, not more. She was dressed very girly like a lot of girls in Taipei: T-shirt, short skirt, sandals. She was a pretty girl, a girl you would notice instantly. But she wasn't alone. Along with her came a young boy, I'd say he was around 9, very skinny, and a little shorter than the girl. He was wearing sneakers and a jersey just like many other boys in Taipei. I initially thought he was her younger brother, but I haven't seen his face, only the back of his head. They were standing in the middle of the isle, very close to where I was sitting. I could only get a glance from the side, but I had to turn my head back a little. I wouldn't really have paid attention to them, if it weren't for what happened next: While they were standing, their heads went closer and closer, I felt it's a little bit too close for a brother and sister. But that was not the end of it: They were giggling, touching each other, they were visibly playful. I was like: WTF! A late teen dating a pre-adolescent boy? I've seen a lot of weird stuff in Taipei, but this was really something else. A few stations later the seat opposite mine became empty, and the girl sat down. The boy was standing next to her with his back turned in my direction. He continued to be in her face all the time, he kept touching her, they were giggling: It really felt like watching two lovebirds who can't get their hands off each other. I honestly felt very uncomfortable next to them, and I wasn't alone. The old lady sitting next to me kept stretching her neck, and peaking to the other side: She was observing them with a frowning almost mean looking face, and I thought she is about to say something. All the other passengers ignored them (unless there is a foreigner involved, this behavior is quite common). And then the lady suddenly stood up! So what happened next you might wonder? Did she tell them off? Did she demand a proper etiquette? Did she make them lose face? No, nothing happened. She reached her destination and left. A station later I reached mine, and so it happened, that the two love birds were going out there as well. I still couldn't see the boy's face as I was waiting for the door to open, because he was constantly in the girl's face. I admit I became curious, and hoped to get a glance. As we stepped out of the train, the boy finally turned around, and in that split second when the head was moving towards me in slow motion, I was sooooo hoping, that he had an older face, a face of a late teen perhaps, who just happened to be trapped in a young boy's body. As the head was finally completely exposed to my eyes, I unraveled the mystery of these two seemingly strange companions: The young boy was actually a girl, probably about the same age as the other girl, and the male counterpart of what is known as b&f.