Thursday, May 21, 2015

Barking Dogs, Barbecue Buddha, and a Broom Attack

Today while walking down Renmin Road in Changsha, I encountered two dogs who had plenty to say to me.

two dogs in Changsha

Perhaps the closer dog had realized at this moment I knew they were mostly just bark. But at least they were standing next to an interesting location — a Chinese barbecue shop.

two dogs in front of a Chinese barbecue shop

It opens at 5:00 p.m. and closes around midnight. When closed it displays a painting of what appears to be Buddha holding grilled skewered beef.

painting of Buddha eating barbecued beef skewers

Or maybe it is tofu. Whatever the case, the shop's name specifically mentions beef.

As I took photos of the shop and the Buddha painting, something unexpected occurred. A shirtless man approached me and began screaming at . . . I'm not sure who, maybe the dogs, though they weren't doing anything at the time. He was possibly using the local dialect.

I sensed something wasn't quite right as it certainly wasn't normal behavior. Especially compared to what I had seen and dealt with during my earlier 10 years of life in Baltimore, I wasn't worried, but I remained alert. I commented to the man about the painting. His yelling continued unabated.

I then decided to start video recording to capture the moment to see if a local friend could understand the man. But he had stopped yelling by then and started to walk away.

I sensed all was not over.

As the following video shows, I was not wrong, but what occurred was even more unexpected — especially the dramatic "unsheathing".

After the man walked away, one person watching nearby used hand gestures to communicate he thought the man was "crazy". I am somewhat surprised I haven't seen similar examples more often in China. Baltimore was more eventful in this regards.

I have no idea what the man did with the broom handle. It looks like it could have been a great skewer for some large pieces of beef.

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