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Please Mind The Gap Between The Bigot And All Reason, Part 2

| Working | July 16, 2013

(I am studying abroad in Ireland for the summer. I decide to take a tour to see some castles. The tour leaves Dublin at 8 am. The train takes 45 minutes to get into Dublin from where I am staying, so I need to be on the train at exactly 7 am, or I will miss my tour. The next train won’t come until 7:15, which would make me late. I purchase my ticket, and am just fine until the ticket inspector gets on the train. He makes a direct bee-line to me; he doesn’t check any other tickets along the way.)

Ticket Inspector: “Ticket.”

(I hand the inspector the ticket. He looks at it for less than a second.)

Ticket Inspector: “This is the wrong ticket. You’re going to have to get off at this stop.”

Me: “Sir, what’s wrong with my ticket?.”

Ticket Inspector: “It’s the wrong ticket; get off at this stop now.”

Me: “Sir, I need to be on this train. The next one will be—”

Ticket Inspector: “No. You need to get off.”

Me: “Sir, please, I’ll pay for a new ticket right now if I have to!”

Ticket Inspector: “Are you not from around here?”

Me: “No, sir, I’m a student here.”

Ticket Inspector: “So this is your first time on the train?”

Me: “Yes, sir. Please, just let me buy a new tick—”

Ticket Inspector: “No. You’re lucky I don’t fine you. Now, get off the train.”

Me: “Please, I—”

Ticket Inspector: “NOW!”

(Almost crying, I gather up all my things, and quickly run off the train. I have to wait at the station for 15 minutes, crying and alone, for the next train. Someone looks at my ticket, seeing me crying.)

Stranger: “Honey, I don’t know why he forced you off; this is the correct ticket.”

(We both get on the next train. After a few stops, I see the same ticket inspector get on the train. I try to seem invisible.)

Stranger: “Wait! Is that the guy who checked your ticket?”

Me: “Yes… why?”

(It turns out that ticket inspector has a reputation for being incredibly racist, and had kicked me off only because I was darker skinned. For some stroke of luck, the tour bus was still waiting for me when I get to Dublin, despite my tardiness, and I had an amazing time! I don’t know what happened to the ticket inspector, but he sure as heck did a fine job of nearly ruining my weekend.)


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