On one of the many train rides it took for me to get back to Hangzhou from Hong Kong I had the misfortune of getting on a particularly crowded train. For just about eight hours I sat, and a seat away from me was a young Chinese man. Now, I don’t know if it was the fact that he was rather obese or the fact that he was wearing a bright red shirt, but he had something of a resemblance to Eric Cartman. If I had to take a guess, I would put him his early to mid twenties. He was lounging out in his window seat and throught the duration of the trip he never ceased watching anime on his tablet. I don’t have a problem with this. But when I got onto the train he and the person next to him where busy eating an early KFC lunch. The eating continued with almost half-hourly regularity. The unending supply of fried food was coming from the young man’s mother who was seated behind him. Without ever taking his eyes off the iPad screen he would extend his hand above his headrest, and his mother would fill it up with food. And this went on for 12 hours. He was eating when I got on the train in Guangzhou, and he was eating when I got off the train in Shanghai. It was vile.
And the more I thought about it, the more it did remind me of Eric Cartman. Particularly the episode where Cartman et al are binge playing world of warcraft, and Cartman’s mom has to keep serving them.