A Picture Of Disrespect

| Friendly | March 9, 2014

(I am walking into town with my three children and we see an elderly woman on a mobility scooter. We move out of the way politely, and smile. She just glares. About an hour later on our way back home, we see her again, and once again, I make sure we are all out of the way so she enough room to get by.)

Me: *smiling* “Good afternoon.”

Lady: *glares back* “Why don’t you just take a picture, you nosy cow!

(So much for trying to teach my kids manners, when other people treat us like rubbish!)

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A Daring Culture Clash

| Friendly | March 4, 2014

(My friends and I are walking around Amsterdam (we don’t live there). We stand out, as all of us are clearly metal-heads or otherwise alternatively dressed. We are quite the merry bunch, too, so we are seen skipping around the most expensive neighborhood in town.)

Friend: *spots an expensive brand store* “Hey, wouldn’t be cool if we skipped right in there and asked where the nearest punk shop is?”

Me: “Sure, go ahead!”

Friend: *suddenly backs down* “Hmm… don’t think they’ll appreciate that.”

Me: “Oh this was your idea! You wuss… Look and behold!”

(I skip to the store, which is near empty with only two store clerks busy with steam-ironing a shirt worth close to €500 on a rack.)

Me: *beaming* “Hello! Do you happen to know where we can find a punk shop around here?”

(Both the clerks look semi-shocked and disgusted, looking at me: a girl wearing muddy combat boots, a long buckled coat, and spiked bracelets.)

Clerk: *with the most painful smile I have ever seen* “Well… clearly not around here.”

Me: “That’s obvious, isn’t it? So where should we look?”

Clerk: “You should try at [Street]. There’s a shop there called [Name], and is more suited for… your kind.”

Me: “Fantastic! Thank you!”

(I skip out of there.)

Friend: *dying in laughter* “I can’t believe you just did that! So, where is that punk shop?”

(We found said street and wound up at the red-light district. The ‘punk store’ was an SM store that sold whips, leather cat-suits, and the like, along with some horror shirts and latex outfits that might appeal to some extreme goths, but certainly not to us!)

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Some People Need To Stay At Arm’s Length

| Friendly | March 3, 2014

(It is late at night, and we are going back to our car after a long night. There are six of us: five have been best friends since high school and the sixth person is a new friend of ours. I’m considered a bit of an oddball and can get on people’s nerves, which the new person has made quite clear. We also happen to be walking through a very bad part of town.)

New Friend: “Ugh… you are so annoying! You should consider yourself lucky that we don’t ditch you somewhere.”

Friend #1: *to New Friend* “Dude, stop whining already. You’ve been at it all day.”

New Friend: “I’m just saying [My Name] needs to learn how to behave. I don’t know why you all keep him around.”

(At that moment a drunk stranger comes up and cops a feel of one of our female friends. The new friend, who is standing right next to her, backs away scared. I step up and grab the guy’s arm, lifting it up, with my best poker face.)

Me: “Ooh! I’ve been looking for an arm to add to my collection. Hope you don’t mind me taking yours!”

(The stranger freaks out and runs away. The new friend looks at me like I’m crazy.)

Friend #2: “And that is why we hang out with him. You can sit in the back, [New Friend]!”

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Ignorant On The Immigrant

| Friendly | March 3, 2014

(I am an Indonesian-British mix who recently moved to Sydney. I look more obviously Caucasian and I was raised in an international lifestyle so my accent is very neutral. I am making small talk outdoors.)

Stranger: *walks out behind me* “Hey, you!”

Me: “Yes? Can I help you?”

Stranger: “I heard you talking back there. Are you new here?”

Me: “Yeah, I just moved here last month.”

Stranger: “Cool! If you want I can show you around. You are the first American exchange student I’ve met. California?”

Me: “I’m actually from Indonesia.”

Stranger: “Get back on your f****** boat!”

Me: *taken aback* “What?”

Stranger: “You and your f****** kind keep coming over here and taking our jobs and rubbing in your Islam s***! We don’t want you! That’s why we keep sending you back to your s***hole country! I bet you’re illegal!”

Me: “I assure you I have a visa, and stop yelling at me!”

Stranger: “I can say whatever since you’re in my country!”

Me: “Americans aren’t from Australia, yet you seemed excited when you thought I was one. Is having an American with your job better than having an Indonesian?”

Stranger: *pauses for a second* “Well, it’s my country and I can CHOOSE WHO I WANT!” *runs off while giving me the finger*

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A Fish Out Of Agua

| Related | March 2, 2014

(We’re in Puerto Rico for the day on vacation. None of us speak Spanish, though my father fancies himself an expert because he read a ‘learn Spanish on your own’ book several years ago that focused on Castilian Spanish.)

Father: *snootily* “They don’t speak proper Spanish here!”

Mother: “He’s been here five minutes and he’s already telling the natives how to speak their language.”

(A few hours later, we see a sign my sister is curious about.)

Sister: “Hey, Dad, what does this sign say?”

Father: “I don’t know.” *walks away*

(He couldn’t even translate the first word: ‘agua,’ meaning water!)

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