Valentine’s Daze

, , | Romantic | February 15, 2013

(We have only been dating for about two months when our first Valentine’s Day rolls around. We’ve made plans to eat out and go bowling.)

Boyfriend: *at the restaurant* “You don’t like Italian?”

Me: *poking at food* “I do, but… not chain restaurant style apparently. I’m sorry!”

Boyfriend: “It’s okay. The bowling alley is right around the corner. They’ll have something to eat there.”

(Later, at the bowling alley…)

Attendant: “You should have made a reservation. There’s a three hour wait.”

Boyfriend: “Dangit.”

Me: “Let’s catch a movie. Isn’t that gamer movie out?”

(Later, after the movie…)

Me: “Well.”

Boyfriend: “Yeah.”

Me: “Why did I think that would be good? When are gamer movies ever good?! I am so sorry you spent money on that!”

Boyfriend: “It’s okay. We both had our hopes up.”

(Later, on the subway back to my dorm…)

Me: *panicking* “We need to get off. Now.”

Boyfriend: “But we’re nowhere near your stop…”

(I get off the train, run to the nearest trashcan, and thankfully get there in time to vomit into it.)

Boyfriend: “Oh.”

(Later, at my dorm…)

Me: “So…”

Boyfriend: “Yup…”

Me: “You know, despite absolutely everything today, I really enjoyed myself!”

Boyfriend: “I did too. We’re brain-damaged, aren’t we?”

Me: “I love you, too!”

(We never made plans beyond ‘see each other in person’ for a Valentine’s Day since.)

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Shogun The Way To Go Home, Part 2

| Right | January 29, 2013

(I grew up in Japan and am bilingual, even though I am Australian by birth. I am showing some Australian friends around Tokyo.)

American customer: *to the station attendant, in English* “Hey, I need to get to Akihabara station. How do I do that?”

Station attendant: *in Japanese* “Sorry, I do not speak English. Could you point it out?”

(As the station attendant speaks, he has a big map of the subway system and his gestures make it VERY obvious what he wants the customer to do.)

American customer: *in English* “Are you deaf?! I need to get to Akihabara station!”

Station attendant: *in Japanese, while gesturing at the map emphatically* “I don’t know English, sorry. Please point where you are going.”

American customer: *in English* “Stupid Asians. Just tell me how to get there!”

(I intervene at this point, as I feel sorry for the poor station worker.)

Me: *in Japanese* “He wants to get to Akihabara station. I know the way; I’ll explain it to him.”

(I explain, in English, how to get to the station, and tell him the station attendant was trying but he doesn’t speak English.)

American customer: *to me, in English* “These stupid Japs should learn English. Why couldn’t he tell me that?”

Me: “When Asians visit your country, you expect them to speak English, right? So it’s only fair when you come here you try to use their language. Plus, he was trying to help you if you had just pointed it out on the map.”

American customer: “Everyone should know English!”

(He storms off without apologizing, or thanking me or the station worker.)

Station attendant: *to me, in Japanese* “Thank you so much for helping. I didn’t know what to do.”

Me: “Don’t worry about it. He was just being rude. I feel like I should be apologizing for his behaviour on behalf of all foreigners.”

Station attendant: “Oh, don’t worry, we get much worse. Then there are people like you who help convince me you’re not all bad. Thanks again!”

 

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He Won’t Be Wetting His Whistle

| Romantic | January 19, 2013

(I’m on the train, on my way home from work after a late shift. A guy sitting with his friend a few seats away from me starts whistling at me repeatedly, as you might call a dog. I ignore him, but then he gets up and sits beside me.)

Guy: “Hey! Why are you ignoring me?”

Me: “Because I’m a person, not a dog. I have a name, and if you don’t know it, you probably shouldn’t be accosting me for no reason in public.”

Guy: “Whoo! Look at you! I bet you never got laid in your life.”

Me: “Married, actually. Which you won’t ever be if you carry on like that.”

Guy: “No, you’re not.”

Me: “No? Oh, dear. You’d better go to the Register Office and inform them they have a fake marriage in their records.”

Guy: “Then why aren’t you wearing a ring?”

Me: “Because I happen to work with people who display severely violent behaviour. It wouldn’t be safe for me to wear jewellery to work, so I leave it at home.”

Guy: “Well, f*** you then, frigid b****.”

(He goes back to his original seat.)

Guy: *to his friend* “I think I’m in there, man! She’s well up for it!”

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Homeless Is Where The Heart Is

| Right | January 7, 2013

(I am taking the local subway home after work. Most of the subway customers/passengers are dressed as typical office workers except for one man across from me, who is very shabby looking—dirty patch-work clothes, hair dirty and scraggly, beard wild and unkempt—and has a large, filthy shopping bag full of what looks like all of his worldly possessions, including blankets, dirty yellow pillows and an old desk lamp. Everybody on the train is deliberately trying to look away from him, save one well-dressed man. As the train moves through the stations, the well-dressed man switches seats to be closer to the old man and strikes up a conversation.)

Well-Dressed Young Man: *amiably and loudly* “What a fine day it is today! How are you today, sir?”

Ragged-Looking Old Man: *just as amiably and loudly* “I’m doing great, just great. Hope you are, too! Got a lot to do, not enough hours in the day to get it done!”

Young Man: “That’s what I thought. You look like a respectable, busy kind of guy! Like the kind of guy who has some good business going on!”

Old Man: “Why, yeah I am! I’m a bid’ness man! Got some projects I’m takin’ care of! I’m sorry I ain’t at my best. I left my bud’ness suit at home, you see! But I’m still out here takin’ care of m’projects!”

Young Man: “Yes, like I said, I’ve got a keen eye for the entrepreneurial types, and you seem the kind of guy who has a lot of good business going on! And I think you’d make a wise investment!”

(By now, I’m openly watching these two talk like they’re a couple of old business partners. The rest of the train, though still trying not to be obvious, is stealing glances, and everybody’s stopped what they were doing so they can hear.)

Young Man: *still amiably* “I think I’d like to help fund one of your projects! Would $60 be enough to start?”

Old Man: *also still amiably* “Why, yeah sir, it would! I thin’ I can put the money to proper use in m’projects! Thank yah for your help!”

(The young man pulls out and hands $60 in cash to the old man.)

Young Man: “Pleasure doing business! By the way, it looks like you’ve misplaced your jacket.”

(It is winter, and the old man only has a shirt on.)

Old Man: “Yeah, like I said, it’s at home with my business suit.” *laughs* “Like I say, you caught me when I was just going out to look around and do some shopping.” *holds up bag*

Young Man: *chuckles* “Yeah, I’m going to do some shopping when I get home, myself. Well, I wouldn’t want the man who’s project I’m funding to get sick before he has a chance to make use of my investment! That’s bad business! Here, you can borrow my jacket until you can get home to get yours.”

(The young man takes off his suit jacket—easily worth $200—and hands it to the old man.)

Old Man: “Thank ya’ again, sir! And again, I’ll put that money to good use, don’t you worry!”

Young Man: “I’m sure you will, and I’m looking forward to the results! A pleasure doing business, and have a good day.”

(The old man gets off at the next stop. The young man’s stop and mine were the same, and as he rushed off to get out of the cold and home, I ran to catch up. As we walked, I told him that I’ve never seen anyone do anything like that before, and that he’s shown me the true path of generosity. I’ve not seen either of them since, but after that day, I’ve made sure that no matter how bad times get for me, I always reserve at least $50 and a few volunteer hours for charity a month, and a little bit of extra cash on hand for those I come across who need it most!)

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A Sound Driver Is Music To My Ears

| Right | December 21, 2012

(I am a passenger on the train heading home from a long day at school, keeping to myself as it is nearly midnight. A teenager is listening to very obnoxiously loud music. We come to our first stop.)

Driver: *comes back to where the teenager is sitting* “Would you mind turning down your music? You’re disturbing everyone.”

(The teenager laughs and ignores him. The driver glares at him, the teenager only turns it down until the train leaves again. We come to our second stop.)

Driver: *comes back to the teenager* “Turn down your music. You’re disturbing everyone.”

Teenager: “No, I’m not! Everyone likes music!”

(The driver looks around to everyone on the train.)

Driver: “Hands up everyone who wants to listen to this jacka**’s music.”

(Silence.)

Driver: “Hands up everyone who wants the jacka** to turn off his music so they can get home in peace.”

(All hands go up.)

Driver: “If I come back again, you’re off the train.”

Teenager: *glares at everyone around the train and gets off on the next stop*

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