If that sentence hits you by surprise, just imagine how I felt. It’s one thing to read some words and go, “Whoa, a masterbator under the train tracks?” It’s a whole different thing, though, to see it happening and go, “Whoa! A masterbater under the train tracks!”
Anyways, so two and a half years ago, my girlfriend at the time and I had gotten off the subway train and were waiting outside to get the bus to take us home. The Shahe University subway station is on the Changping Line in northern Beijing, and, like all stations on the Changping Line, it’s raised up above the street because the train tracks go over the city. I fear I did not do a very good job of describing that, so look at the picture below and to the right and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
Now that you’re looking at the picture, you’ll notice that there’s a dude sitting down underneath the raised train tracks. I took this photo yesterday, but my girlfriend and I saw the same guy in that exact same spot two and a half years ago. It was dark on that day, maybe six at night, but looking across the way, we could clearly see the guy looking at us. He had a weird look on his face and it appeared he was panting like a dog.
I should also mention that his entire lower half was covered by an umbrella. While he looked at us, we could see his body shaking and his arm moving.
“Jesus Christ,” I said, “that guy’s rubbing one out over there!”
“What?” my girlfriend said.
“You can tell. It’s obvious. He’s jerking off under that umbrella!”
Thankfully the bus came soon after and we got out of there. But a few days later, I took the subway on my own, and there he was again. It was earlier in the day this time. He had his umbrella set up to cover himself just as he had a few days earlier. There were lots of people at the bus stop and I could see the guy – who I now call ‘The Umbrellabator’ – shaking and panting.
“He’s doing it again!” I said to myself. “It’s like Three Billy Goats Gruff. Only there are train tracks instead of a bridge, and instead of a troll, there’s an old masterbating Chinese guy!”
I have to say, though, on this occasion, I had some trouble laughing off The Umbrellabator. There were lots of young girls and little kids at the bus stop, and The Umbrellabator appeared to be looking at them while going to town under his umbrella-ella-ella-eh-eh. It was actually getting me kind of upset. I kept looking at the local people around me like, “Yo, isn’t somebody going to say something to this guy? I would but I’m a stupid foreigner who doesn’t know the language and I don’t fit in.”
Of course nobody said anything, and I contemplated a way to alert the authorities or something. But in the end, all I did was tell some people at my school, who promptly did nothing a la Penn State.
To my great relief, The Umbrellabator totally vanished after that second day. And he’s been gone for two and a half years now. But yesterday I had to take the bus, and who was hanging out underneath those train tracks? The Umbrellabator, back for more! This time I decided to take pictures of him, and those are the images you see in this blog. He was doing the same stuff as always, shaking and panting and working away under his umbrella. I walked into the road to take the pictures, and part of me contemplated getting closer, maybe snapping an image of what exactly was going on under there.
So that’s all for now. I will be sure to post updates if anything exciting happens with The Umbrellabator. Till then, have a great day, and if you happen to be in the Shahe University area and it’s raining, do not accept any offers from this man to stand under his umbrella.