Friday, August 26, 2005

Nationalistic Shame

I thought that today, I'd do another 'quick, before the laptop crashes' post...but actually make it interesting to read, and not be solely about my new computer.

I saw that walmart had some fairly decent systems for a lowish price (I'm not the type to buy computers from Walmart, but my situation is desperate), so we went for a look, just in case.

Anyway, I've posted before on how when you move to a new country, it doesn't take long to realise that you're not just representing yourself, you're representing your entire country. For example, if I'm rude...people don't just think "Boy, that guy was rude." They think "Boy, English people are rude!"

So you can imagine how pissed of I was when this happened.

So, the wife and I were looking at an emachines desktop. It was passable. Suddenly, a wave of BO wafted my way.

A guy walks up to me, gets about 3 inches from my face and just stares for a moment. After he realises that I'm not intimidated in the slightest (He was about two feet shorter than me), he says:

"Gimme some change so I can get something to eat."

No please, no thankyou, nothing. Just a demand for an unmistakable London Accent.

Now many of you may think I'm judging harshly, a poor guy, down on his luck.

Maybe, if it wasn't for the fact he absolutely stunk of booze at 10 in the morning.

It pissed me off. Not just because a drunk had walked up and tried to first intimidate me, then demanded money from me. It pissed me off, because every person this guy approached walked away thinking of British people as drunken, agressive bums.

So, I simply said "No." I didn't bother telling him I didn't have any cash (I didn't).

He stared for a minute, gave me a look of disgust and walked off, right towards an elderly couple.

Now, I'm not saying all homeless people or all 'vagrants' are out on the street because they like it, or because they're too lazy to get a's not true. All I know is it cost me $40,000 to get to america...and even if he's here illegally, he at least had to come up with some steep plane fare.

Basically, I was pissed that a drunk tried to scare money out of me...and the fact that he reflects directly on me.



Vicarious Living said...

That happens from one state to another, too. If I mention Florida I get a "look" and heaven help me if I twang on occasion!

I hate that I find myself apologizing, even when they've been rude.

MC Etcher said...

As if the average Wal-Mart customers aren't annoying enough.

OzzyC said...

How about a "Sober up, and then if you can remember what I look like, come back and I'll give you a quarter to call AA, you staggaring, smelly, soused stupid shithead."

Perdita said...

To be honest most of the average-joe-america's see the homeless-beggars as a society of their own, no matter what race color or creed. I doubt if anyone besides you gave him a second thought, accent or not.

Chief Slacker said...

All english types are drunk and agressive? Damn! ;O)