Unfiltered Story #215145

, , | Unfiltered | November 12, 2020

(It is summer of 2003. I’m a young female college student from the US doing a summer study program at a major UK university. There was no ubiquitous wireless internet or smartphone technology yet, so internet shops proliferated there on every corner. Since the uni computer labs had limited hours, especially on weekends, I semi-regularly frequented the internet shops when I had free time and no other way to get computer access.

One weekend day, I go into an internet shop I’ve never been to before. The manager/owner is at the desk. He appears close to 40, has a clearly non-UK accent (and definitely non-western in general) and looks very vaguely Middle-Eastern. He immediately seems to show too much interest in me.)

Owner: “Oh, Helllloooo there – and what’s your name, dear?”

Me: “Um, (1st name). I’d just like a few hours on a computer please.”

(I hand over the money. He begins processing the sale.)

Owner: “Of course. You know, you’re so… nice looking. So, do you go to school here?”

Me: “I’m here at (University) just for the summer. I’m from the US.”

Owner: “Oh, really. Well, you just look so nice is all. I really like the way you look. You know, I’ve been looking for a wife for a while now.” *looks at me with obvious expectation*

Me: “….” *wide eyes*

Owner: “Yes, you’re just so nice-looking. And you seem like a nice girl. So how about it?”

Me: *really hoping I’ve misunderstood him* “I’m sorry?”

Owner: “Well, I’m looking for a wife. I’m offering. How would you like it?” *he is very clearly fully serious and expecting me to go along with it*

Me: *kind of stuttering in shock* “Um… uhhh…. well…. that’s very nice of you of course…. but I’m just here for the summer… and I’m just really, absolutely, not looking for any kind of relationship right now. At all.”

Owner: *in a loud, super-whiny, childish tone* “But iiiiiiiiii’m loooooookiiiiiiiiiiing!!!”
*looks at me with obvious full expectation that this ought to settle the matter.*

(I step back in speechless wide-eyed near-horror, and stutter a few “uh”s and a short, very fake and nervous sounding laugh. Then, since I already paid, I just take my receipt and computer code and walk off into the shop to the furthest computer I can find. Thankfully, he at least doesn’t follow me. The entire time I’m there I nervously look around to make sure the man isn’t creeping up to me. I never go back to that shop again.

Many years later, this is still my most-remembered horror story from that visit to the UK. Even getting a 1.5-month-long bout of Bronchitis doesn’t trump that.

It at least gives me some comfort that most/all of those internet shops have long closed by now, and I doubt someone who treated his customers so unprofessionally would have managed to open another business.)