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Roadside Hawkers

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To Roadside Hawkers:


Life would be so perfect if we could weed away those hawkers. These hawkers, as I’d like to call them, are those that you see on the streets everyday. Not the people who try to sell you junk that you won’t ever use or sell food to you with bacteria written all over it. These hawkers are obvious in the way they force up phlegm from their upper respiratory tract and spew it out like a waterfall, as if no one was sharing the road with them. It’s hard to believe that kind of disgraceful act doesn’t embarrass them, for I feel embarrassed for them. You can tell that I’m not the only person who sees and thinks what they do is disgusting, by the way passersby cringe their faces. The worst part about it is when they’re done spitting on the road side, I’m the one that’ll have to walk pass it. And it’s hard to pass without looking at the nasty muck they’ve made on the otherwise ‘clean’ sidewalk and I’ll have to go out of my way to avoid stepping in it. What an impolite thing to do! Of course, I haven’t seen a girl going out of her way to engage in this kind of unpleasant act, so men, why must you do this?


Do you think it’s cool? Do you think that anyone is interested in seeing your phlegm being displayed by the roadside? I’m not! And the worst is if you have a boyfriend who smokes and spits! What a combination! Imagine kissing the lips from whence the phlegm came, just before you had to dodge it yourself. Horrific!


I’ve never been in that situation and I wouldn’t dare put myself in it, but still I have to share the world with those hawkers nonetheless. I can’t even hide from them. I went as far as South Korea and found that the whole nation was filled with male hawkers. It was the most disgusting thing to listen as they reached in the back of their throats for the phlegm that they had stored up. The hawking sound it makes is dreadful. I just wonder how the Korean women stand it. Young boys learn from their dads how to become professional hawkers causing the road to have spit marks everywhere. I know that it might not be in your interest, hawkers, to swallow up the phlegm but really, it’s as disgusting to swallow as it is to see it!    


From a Roadside Hawker:


To be called a ‘Roadside Hawker’ must be the most humiliating nickname I’ve ever received. It is not my intention to disgust or otherwise embarrass anyone I’m sharing the roadside with. However, I consider spitting a natural process of the body when it needs to eject saliva or other substances from the mouth. So I do it because I’d rather not hoard phlegm or bad taste inside my mouth. I don’t spit because I’m consciously trying to be rude; I do it because unconsciously my body has to do something with the fluids that forms inside my mouth.


What is your solution then? Do I walk around with a cup and spew in it as the occasion besets? Or did you mention that I should swallow? Sorry, I will choose none of the above because, as this sidewalk also belongs to me, I feel that I should have an equal say about what I do on it.


I do not see any major trouble because like you said, you can avoid walking in it. Besides, what’s a little liquid on the ground anyway? The sidewalks aren’t clean—they are filthy. And you are walking in shoes, aren’t you? What’s the big deal then? Phlegm, pigeon poop, dog poop, and all the trash that you see on the road each day are all disgusting. Why target one and not the others?

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