College Is Good For One Thing At Least

| NY, USA | Working | December 10, 2015

(A friend and I unexpectedly have to take the train back from Thanksgiving break. As we wait in line to pick up our tickets, I see several large signs saying you’re required to have government issued ID to take the train. I start to panic since I don’t have any one me.)

Me: *to cashier* “I’m sorry but I don’t have any government-issued ID on me. Is there any way I could still ride?”

Friend: *to me* “Do you have your college ID? Maybe that would work?”

Me: *to cashier* “I do have my college ID but that’s not government issued…”

Cashier: “Oh, that’s fine, honey! Colleges are like the government!”

(Happily handed us our tickets.)

The Hunger Shames

| Helsingborg, Sweden | Friendly | November 16, 2015

(I’m standing in a kiosk, looking at four Romanian Romani that have previously tried to beg for money from me. The group consists of a mother, a teen, and two children below the age of ten. They’re going to buy a cola and two biscuits. A woman approaches me.)

Woman: “Oh, look at those! They beg you for money and then they buy THAT. Shame on them.”

Me: “I know, right? That’s no dinner.”

Woman: “It sure isn’t!”

Me: “So I’m going to buy them dinner.”

Woman: *looking incredibly shocked* “What?”

Me: “Three of them are children. They have nowhere to live and nowhere to cook. They can’t buy proper food. There’s a pasta place down the road. I’ll buy them takeaway pasta for tonight.”

Woman: “Well… I…”

(Ignoring her, I told the group of my offer and was lucky enough that there was someone nearby that could translate. At least for one night, four people didn’t go hungry. Wherever you are, lady, I hope you grow some empathy.)

Lost By Reservation

| NY, USA | Romantic | October 23, 2015

(It is my boyfriend’s birthday. Said boyfriend lives in Manhattan and we are planning to meet for dinner with his friends at a Japanese restaurant where we have a reservation.  I am 17 at the time, and have only visited NYC once as a child, so we agreed to meet up and go there together. I get off the train and realize he is not at our designated meeting spot. I give him a call on my very basic flip-phone.)

Me: “Hey, are you running late? I don’t see you. You said to meet by [Restaurant], right?”

Boyfriend: “Yeah, but I’m super late so I had to go to the restaurant to make sure they don’t cancel the reservation.”

Me: “Okay, so you’re coming to get me after?”

Boyfriend: “Well, I’m already on my way to the restaurant, so no. Can’t you just walk here?”

Me: “[Boyfriend], you didn’t even give me the address. You said we were going together. If you knew you were going to be late, why didn’t you tell me earlier? I could have looked up walking directions at home and just brought them with me. I don’t have any way of looking that up with my phone.”

Boyfriend: “It’s [Restaurant].”

Me: “Yes, but that still doesn’t tell me where it is.”

Boyfriend: “Well… just ask someone. I’m sure you’ll find it. I have to talk to the staff now. Call me if you need help.” *click*

(Exasperated, I ended up calling one of our mutual friends who was also going, to see if he could offer some basic directions. He apologized for my boyfriend’s behavior and actually went out of his way to walk over to the train station and then walk with me to the restaurant – an almost forty minute walk completely on the other side of town! My (now-ex) boyfriend never did apologize.)

Fifty Cents Higher

| Melbourne, VIC, Australia | Friendly | September 14, 2015

(I’m about 17 at the time and I’m waiting with a couple of friends for some of our other friends after school at a train/bus station so we can go hang out at an arcade when a local stoner who most us know wanders up to us.)

Stoner: “Heeeey man, do you have, like, 50 cents you could spare?”

Me: “I think so”

(My friends ignore him but I look through my coins and see that I have no 50s so I give him $2, thinking it is a bus fare.)

Stoner: “Thanks, girly, you have good karma.”

(He then wanders off towards town.)

Me: “Ummm, okie dokie, then.”

Friend #1: “[My Name], I think you just gave him drug money.”

Me: “Wait, what! It was only $2! How much could he possibly get with $2?”

Friend #2: “You’d be surprised.”

Me: “Well, s***.”

He’s Got A Ticket To Hide

| Vienna, Austria | Friendly | August 31, 2015

(I have had strangers asking me for some spare change every single day when commuting. At first, I would always give some money I had to spare, but when people turned extremely rude and organised beggar-rings formed, I stopped doing so. I have a change of heart one day.)

Stranger: “Hey, you got some change? I only lack 60 cents for my train ticket. Only 60 cents, mister, please!”

(He is standing next to the ticket machines, so I give him the benefit of the doubt.)

Me: *hands him one Euro* “There you go…”

(I then go to a local bakery to grab a bite. When I return to the train station 15 minutes later, I see the same guy again, doing his spiel.)

Stranger: *walking up to random people* “Hey, man, I lack just 60 cents for my train ticket… You can spare 60 cents, can´t you?”

(He then sees me. His eyes are locked on me. I can see gears moving in his brain. Then, suddenly:)

Stranger: *to me* “Hey man, you can spare 60 cents. I need 60 cents for my train ticket. Please, I really need that ticket!”

Me: *speechless*

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