I entered the restaurant, ordered some noodles from one of the vendors there
and sat down at a table near the vendor. The restaurant was about half full.
Directly in my line of view were several other customers, but I noticed one man
in particular who was sitting with his back to me. He was seated in an
awkward position, hands on the table but
with the top half of his body slowly but surely leaning more and more to one
side, as if he was about to fall off the chair. Just as I thought he would
surely fall off, his body pulled itself upright. Wow, he must either be very
sleepy or very drunk. Judging the beer bottles in front of him, it must be the
My food came and I started eating, but I could not help but notice
that the man in front was again leaning more and more to one side. And once
again he pulled himself upright at the last moment.
I took my eyes off him and
concentrated on eating my food. Suddenly my attention was broken when I heard a
loud crash like something falling onto the floor. I looked up and saw the man
lying in a heap on the floor. This time he had actually fallen off his chair.
Miraculously the beer bottles were still on the table.
My first reaction was
to go and help him up but I noticed that no one in the restaurant had moved. In
fact they were behaving as though it was small matter. Most of them took one
look and continued their meal. Strange, I thought. This made me hesitate. I did
not know what to do.
For a minute I just sat there looking at the
prostrate figure wondering if he was still
alive or merely sleeping, should I help or should I do something. Not knowing
what to do is a terrible feeling. Finally, the restaurant owner appeared and
muttered in Chinese, "This useless fellow." He then got hold the man's hands and
dragged him out of the restaurant onto the five-foot way and out of sight of the
After finishing my meal, I stepped out of the restaurant. I saw the
drunk lying next to a pillar, sleeping and oblivious
to everything around him. What a pathetic sight.