Friday, April 04, 2003

Physics Lab

Early this afternoon I sat through a physics lab. The flight landed on time and yet almost I decided to sit on the plane and deplane last. I was in the very front row and thought that I might as well relax. Jeri and told me that when she returned a day before I did from Hanggzhou to Shenzhen, the bus to the ferry (the ferry being at 2:15 to Hong Kong) didn't leave until almost 4 pm. So, why rush? But now I looked at all the people in the aisle and decided to merge and exit asap. After picking up my luggage I went to the booth that sells the ferry tickets. "Hooley", she told me, "felly reaving go Hong Kong armost now".

I ran out and caught the bus. Now I understood. Jeri had missed the bus to the 2:15 ferry. Two reasons. She probably wasn't sitting in the front of the airplane and second, she no doubt had to stop by the ladies room. This is an amazing thing. For 12.5 hours on the day that we took our 4-hour (turned 11 plus taxi to and from) jungle-cruise boat ride, she didn't need to use the ladies room for any reason once she had heard it described. But, on a sunny day with modern facilities she becomes a public facility inspector. How thouroughly she does her job. Not one resting icon can be left un-inspected. I know, without having asked her, that she got to wait an extra couple of hours and visit several more restrooms than I because she no doubt stopped by one between the airplane and the bus. I know she did.
The bus driver, knowing that he didn't want me around all afternoon, set the laboratory in motion the instant I had hurled my heavy luggage into place and placed my unprepared body in an insecure seat complete without seatbelt or protective padding.

He pressed a button that beeped 4 times like the timer on a bomb, and the door closed. THis gave the false impression that all was under control.

He looked over his shoulder to see if there were more victims than the three unwarry passengers who had boarded his bus and made the mistake of NOT hiding in a public restroom to avoid this ride that could be known as "Future Shock".

No others came towards the bus and he shot out of the parking place in keen competition with unseen rivals. My first sense of real, as opposed to imagined, danger was when he hit the speed bump. The bus was long enough that I, sitting on the very back seat so as to not be exposed unnecessarily to germs, saw the other two guinnea pigs sitting near the front of the laboratory, fly into the air demonstrating in their asscent and subsequent unhindered fall both thrust and gravity. Our driver seemed pleased with the results of his first expirament. He then, being a good scientist and wanting to see his study completed, looked in the rear-view mirror, stepping on the accelerator to watch me orbit around several seats in the rear.

This completed, he studied next what I believe is known as veolcity. He drove at an unprecidented speed towards a red light. Just short of the red light, he stopped in an instant. Luggage and bodies continued in the same direction they had been traveling and at somewhat the same speed until all came to sudden rest against "immovable objects".
Next came a thorough examination of the principles of centrifuge. This took place on a large traffic circle. The expirament would of course be flawed without the necessary speed. This having been achieved, I watched as the bus turned turned left and my stomach allowed me to know the direction my luggage was traveling by traveling also to the right while our capsule continued on around the circle to the left. Most insightful!

The above expiraments were all carried out by and on masked subjects. This had the effect of camaflouge. Each of us actually looked somewhat calm.

And so, battered and educated, I am aboard the sea craft on my way to Hong Kong.


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