Humanity Is Going Down The Tubes

| London, England, UK | Friendly | February 21, 2014

(I am an American student studying abroad in London. I wake up late one morning and rush out the door without eating breakfast. As it’s rush hour, the train is jam-packed and I have to stand. On the way to class, I start to feel woozy and start swaying.)

Stranger #1: “Are you all right?”

Me: “I- I don’t know. I feel dizzy.”

Stranger #2: *gets up* “Oh God, love. Here, have my seat.”

Stranger #3: “Maybe low blood sugar. Here, I have some orange juice.”

Stranger #1: “Where are you heading?”

Me: “Gloucester Road.”

Stranger #1: “Okay. You’ve a few stops yet.”

(These strangers took care of me the rest of the ride and made sure I got off at the right stop. The common belief is that the English are a cold, aloof people, but I will never forget their kindness!)

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This Bus Is Going Dune Town

| Seattle, WA, USA | Right | February 9, 2014

(I am on my way home from a video game convention. I am dressed up like Link from Legend of Zelda. It’s about 11:30 at night.)

Bus Driver: “That woman is a ‘Bene Gesserit’ witch. You’ve read Dune, right?”

Passenger #1: “No.”

Me: “I am the ‘Kwisatz Haderach!'”

Passenger #2: “Who said that?”

Me: “I did. Link said that.”

Passenger #2: *pause* “That’s fair.”

Pet-ty Differences

| France | Working | September 19, 2013

(I’m selling train tickets, and we have a new hire for the summer. As I am on my break, the new hire calls me. There’s a small fee if you travel with a pet, and if you don’t have anything to carry this pet with you, we offer to sell a cage.)

New Hire: “Hey, there’s a traveler who wants a discount for his kid. Can I sell them the pet formula and the cage?”

Me: “Er… who is it for, an animal?”

New Hire: “Nope, it’s for the child. He’s 10 years old.”

Me: “Of course not! He’s a child, so he has to get the child fare, and that’s it.”

New Hire: “Oh, okay. I thought it’d work.”

Start By Studying Their Own Conversations

| Sydney, NSW, Australia | Learning | July 30, 2013

(I travel to University three days a week on public transport. I’m always on the same carriage, and so are a group of high-schoolers. For most of the year, I have listened to them talk about how they always ‘jig’, or skip certain lessons. One of them reveals they hardly ever go to English or Math. It’s clear they’re all quite proud of themselves and think they’re really cool. Then it comes time in the year for exams to begin, and I hear the conversations change.)

Teen #1: “Oh-em-gee! Exams make me so nervous.”

Teen #2: ‘Oh, I know, right? I’m like, so worried that I won’t pass math.”

Teen #1: “Yeah! And like, I don’t understand anything that’s happening in English, and no one wants to explain it to me. It’s like they’re too busy studying.”

Teen #2: “That’s so rude! Why do exams even have to happen? Ugh!”

Please Mind The Gap And Your Own Business

| London, England, UK | Related | April 15, 2013

(I am visiting my sister for the weekend in London. She is 35, and I am 20. I am also a gay male. We are coming back from a show and are heading for the Underground station. I do not know my way around London very well, so I am following my sister. A man also heading for the train starts coming on to my sister.)

Man: “Hey there, that creep over there is following you around. I can take care of him, if you like?”

Sister: “No, thank you. I’m sure I’ll be fine.”

Man: “You sure? Don’t want a pretty girl like you getting into trouble; I’m more your type anyway.”

(I decide to intervene.)

Me: “Look, mate, let me make this clear to you; you are wrong on many, many levels. Firstly, she isn’t my type—frankly, you’re more my type. Secondly, she is my sister. Third, I am only following her because I don’t have a clue where I am. And finally—and this is where you can stop acting all macho to impress her—she’s engaged with two children. Any questions?”

(The man is speechless; he only manages a nod before running away.)

Sister: “Was he really your type?”

Me: “Seriously, that is what you got from that?”

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