Friday, January 13, 2012

Urban Decay

One of the issues with working so far from home is that I have to get gas all the time, or at least every 5 days. After work today, I stopped at a Shell gas station on Vermont and El Segundo. About halfway through my fill-up, I was approached by man with a bucket and squeegee who offered to wash my window. I politely declined. Interestingly, he gave me a confused look, as if everyone else accepted his offer (he was cleaning someone else's windshield previously). Was I supposed to say "okay"?

I was next approached by a anorexic woman with really bad teeth who asked if I wanted "movies"? Huh? I was unclear if she was offering to sell me DVD's (5 RMB?) or asking if I wanted a date to go to a movie theater. Obviously I was uninterested in both and just wanted to get out of there.

On my way home (70 minute commute on a Friday evening), I though about the experience. First, the gas station was pretty run down. There was an odor that's prevalent in poor neighborhoods, a combination of grease, sweat, and urine. The pumps were dirty too. There was also a lot of "extra" traffic with cars pulling in, not to buy gas but to shop(?) at the mini-mart. Strange.

At USC, I was approached all the time by homeless/poor asking for money. Since my work is basically in the same neighborhood (South Central LA), it's kind of expected. I'm just surprised that the Shell station allowed someone to basically camp out and solicit every customer. Probably the owners don't care.


Anonymous said...

my favorite show these days in Breaking Bad. i saw some episodes of season 4 on my last CX flights and it got me hooked. i been catching the earlier seasons on NF.

it is basically about the meth/ice scene in ABQ, NM. a high school chemistry teacher turning to the dark side to cook meth. actually some of the episodes actually have some chemistry lessons in there (how HF acid will etch through everything when you are disposing of a body-- educational). the teacher goes by the street name of "Heisenberg" (the one with the uncertainty principle).

anyway, there are some meth-heads in the episodes and they are characterized by being really skinny/hyper with really bad teeth.

the Japanese military used the drug in WWII to "enhance" their soldiers to better kill their enemies.

Anonymous said...

by the way, there is a term for the really bad teeth caused by meth. meth-mouth.