So I’m shambling home after my last class of the day, 9 pm and the hole-in-the-wall factories I thread my way through a couple of times a day on the way to and from the train station are still in full voice, clattering and clanging, eating the souls of the indentured slaves migrant workers inside. Past a couple of the reekier smokepots, the ones that perenially smell of burning plastic, I hold my breath, imagining polyps growing on my lungs, sprouting in quicktime like those sexually arousing stop-motion films of flowers budding they showed us in high school biology. Always gave me a little wood, those films. ‘Course, most things did.
I remember when I was in my twenties, I’d breathe deep of stenches like that, savouring the chemical tang, showing off my misplaced confidence that I was going to live forever, ridiculing my meeker comrades for holding their breath. I was such an asshole.
So, anyway, I’m walking down this filthy alley, warily circling the horizontal metal rod that I’d walked smack bang into this morning (the black eye? no I really did walk into something!) while dreaming of a villa I’ve found on Koh Samui and how I’m gonna raise the deposit to buy the damn thing.
Sitting in an open doorway in front of a massive, rattling, deafening machine, a guy in a tattered muscle shirt was manipulating a gorgeous hi-res texturemapped image of some anonymous mechanical part on a 21-inch monitor, presumably the very part that the shuddering beast in front of him was busy fabricating, and smoking a cigarette. I walked over, pointed at the screen, gave the thumbs up. Grimy and unshaven, he grinned gaptoothed, and returned the gesture. There wasn’t a hell of a lot more to say, so I continued on my way home.

Korea-related, Uncrappy