Falling And Failing

, , , , , , , | Right | March 2, 2019

(I’m a young woman in my late twenties — though I do look younger — walking home one evening. I pass a woman, vaguely noting there’s a boy, maybe twelve or so, behind her heading in my direction. As I walk past, the boy suddenly falls. I start to bend towards him, to help him up.)

Boy: “Sorry, I just fell for you.”

(I can’t help laughing as he stands up, thinking he’s saying it to save face.)

Me: “Very smooth.”

Boy: “So, how about it?”

(I shake my head and start to head on, now assuming it’s a joke)

Boy: “I’ll take you to [Coffee Shop]!”

(I laugh, shake my head, and keep walking.)

Boy: “F***. Why doesn’t it ever work?”

(I’m still in two minds as to how serious I thought he was being, though I’m fairly sure it was a joke. I decided not to suggest that if he is going to go for random strangers, he might want to try someone who’s not over twice his age!)

You Almost Need A Club To Walk To The Nightclub At Night

, , , , , , | Friendly | March 1, 2019

(I get a call to go and pick up my very independent girlfriend from a nightclub because her overprotective work friends won’t let her leave without either getting in a taxi or having me come pick her up. The club is roughly a ten-minute walk from the house. I start to head to the club, carrying only keys, and clock a stranger on the other side of the road. He is walking in the opposite direction until he spots me and crosses over. I am rather tall and, according to my girlfriend, rather intimidating… until I open my mouth, because of my posh accent. I am always wary of people, as I was bullied at school by short people wanting to pick a fight, wanting to make their mark.)

Stranger: “Hey there!”

(He starts walking in the direction I am going, walking fairly quickly to try and keep pace. I am crossing a long bridge without any possible escape routes, putting me on edge.)

Stranger: “Where are you going?”

Me: *still walking, but determined to remain polite and non-provocative* “[Nightclub].”

Stranger: “Meeting someone special?”

(There is a creepy tone in his voice, which makes me even more wary.)

Me: “Yep.”

Stranger: “It’s a girl, right?” *gives a cocky grin* “I’m going there, too! Let’s get a taxi!”

Me: *thinking how he was initially walking north when the club was south, setting off more alarm bells* “I’m all right, mate; it’s not far.”

Stranger: “I don’t mind. We’ll get a taxi!”

Me: “You can get one if you want, but I don’t have any cash on me. It’s not far, though.”

Stranger: “Don’t worry; I’ll pay for it!”

(We get to the end of the bridge as he repeatedly tries to get me to flag down a taxi. I carry on down one side of the road whilst he starts to cross over to the other. My route involves crossing a road south, then going east; his route involves going east and then crossing the road to go south.)

Stranger: “Where are you going, mate? It’s this way!”

Me: “I’m going this way. Have a good evening!”

Stranger: “It’s this way, [gay slur]!”

(He continued walking his way to the nightclub, which was retracing the direction he originally came from. I can only assume he wanted to stiff me for a taxi fare. As it was so close, it was not worth getting a taxi to go a distance of two streets.)

Put Down That Kind Of Thinking

, , , , , | Friendly | January 12, 2019

(I am a volunteer for an organisation that raises and trains guide dogs for the blind. I am what they call a puppy foster parent; I raise a puppy from eight weeks until it goes to school at approximately fourteen months, which also involves some basic training. I am walking with the most adorable and sweet black Labrador, seven months old, who is wearing a vest that is clearly labeled with the text, “Guide Dog in Training,” and the name and logo of the organisation. A woman angrily approaches me.)

Woman: “They should instantly put down all pit bulls!”

Me: “Eh… Okay… And you’re telling me this because…?”

Woman: “So you know what kind of an anti-social b*****d you are!”

(The woman stomped off. Usually, I’m pretty good at smart and snappy comebacks, but this was way, way too far out there for me!)

Crossing The Road Paved With Good Intentions

, , , , | Hopeless | December 28, 2018

Having grown up in a well-developed country, crossing the road is probably the least of our worries due to the abundance of traffic lights, zebra crossings, and pedestrian bridges. Recently, my family went for a vacation to Bangkok, Thailand as a group of eight people. Being a dense city area, the traffic is pretty nightmarish there. Around our hotel, to get to the other side of the main road will require you to either jaywalk or to walk a long distance to the overhead transit system and cross its bridge.

We saw what appeared to be a traffic light for pedestrians, and crossed the first half normally. The main road was quite wide and crossing it would require us to pass through two traffic lights, with each stopping cars flowing from a certain direction. Reaching the other half, we realized that the traffic light was either broken or disused, as it remained red — or didn’t even turn on at all; I can’t remember the details. So, we were stuck in the middle of the road, and it was difficult for us to cross as a large group and with all the cars moving at a pretty fast speed. I recalled us getting stuck there for at least a solid two minutes.

A motorcyclist saw eight of us, looking like lost tourists wanting to cross the road, and stopped for us in the middle lane — it was a three-lane road — and motioned for the cars to stop, as well. Surprisingly, the cars at the other lanes stopped, and he gestured for us to cross, which we did quickly and gratefully.

While this might seem like a small gesture, the kindness of the Thais did impress me significantly. While I had seen roads in other countries which were as “messy” as this one, this is definitely the first time I had seen someone stopping just to allow us jaywalkers to cross, even though they did not have to.

Hopeless, Not Homeless

, , , , , , , | Related | December 22, 2018

(There is a guy that stands near my local supermarket every day, asking people for money. I don’t really carry cash on me; I just use my card. Whenever he asks me, I just say, “No, sorry,” which is usually fine, except on this day.)

Guy: “Any change. Any spare change, ma’am?”

Me: “No, sorry.”

(As I’m walking away just loud enough for me to hear, he says…)

Guy: “F****** stuck-up b****.”

(This pisses me off. If I ever have spare change, I’d much rather give it to a busker, who’s actually doing something for their money, rather than someone who just harasses people.)

Me: *turning back to him* “Excuse me! What the h*** did you just call me?”

Guy: “You heard me. Look at you, driving a fancy car, wearing expensive clothes, but you can’t help out someone that’s struggling with a few dollars.”

Me: “Can I ask you something? How much do you make a day?”

Guy: *condescendingly* “I don’t go home without making at least $50.”

Me: “Okay. I’m guessing that you get [government pension] and you live in [government housing]?”

(He nods slowly, trying to work out where I’m going with this.)

Me: “So, you get about $900 a fortnight from [pension], and then if you make $50 a day, that’s $700 a fortnight, which totals around $1600 a fortnight. So, you’re doing better than I am. And that’s before you take into account the fact you get incredibly cheap rent, pay next to nothing for medications, and don’t pay taxes. So, even though I work, you actually make more money than I do and pay cheaper rent. So, how about helping someone struggling with a few dollars?”

(By now there are a few other shoppers, homeless people, and the security guard from the supermarket watching and listening, and people start laughing at the shocked look on his face. Someone says, “S***, I’ve been giving him money for months when he’s better off than me!”)

Guy: “What? This is bulls***! You’re nothing but a stuck-up s***. You think you’re smarter and better than me.”

Me: “Well, you’re obviously pretty smart in one way: for months, if not years, you’ve been harassing people out of their money, while doing nothing for it. But you’re right; I do think I’m better than you, simply for the fact that I work for everything I have and don’t expect people to just give me money every day.”

(I walked away and got in my car with the guy yelling obscenities at me. For the next few days, I avoided that supermarket. When I did go back, the guy was nowhere to be seen, but the security guard came up to me to tell me that after I’d left the guy had started shouting at the gathered crowd and then took a swing at the guard. He was charged with assault and threats to kill, and given a trespass order for the whole street. While I know it’s not easy not being able to work and living on a pension, it doesn’t mean you have a right to abuse people when they won’t give you money for nothing.)

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