Jailhouse Bump

| NY, USA | Awesome, Strangers

(I’m picking up a few things from the grocery store in a rush because I have a party to get to. I’m reading the list of things I need to get from my phone, and forget to watch where I’m going. I run full force into a very buff, tattooed, tough looking man.)

Me: “Oh, no, I’m so sorry!”

(The man looks calmly at me and puts his hand on my shoulder.)

Man: “My man, I just finished a ten year sentence at [Federal Prison]. I’m about to go home and make love to my beautiful wife for the first time in a f****** decade. You could hit me in the face with a baseball bat right now, and it would not ruin my mood one bit. Don’t even worry about bumping into me.”

Me: “Oh…” *unsure of how to respond* “Um, congratulations on getting out?”

Man: “Thanks. Now go tell someone you love ’em. Peace out, dude.”

(He walked away, leaving me both confused and amused. I think about that encounter every day. I hope he’s still doing well out there.)

Your Language Needs Some Spit And Polish

| Warsaw, Poland | Language & Words, Travel

(I am on a trip with some fellow students from college in Ireland. A friend and I go into a small toy model shop with about three others inside already. I walk into the shop and owner makes eye contact.)

Me: “All right, how’s it going?”

Owner: *in Polish* “Część.” *’Hello’*

Me: *to friend* “Oh, my God, I forgot we weren’t at home!”

Not What Jesus Would Do

| Reno, NV, USA | Bad Behavior, Passive Aggressive, Religion

(I notice an older lady has dropped one of her bags while walking towards the exit and is having trouble bending to pick it up, I rush over to help, and she thanked me and adds:)

Old Lady: “It sure does suck getting old.”

Me: “Well, as Grandma used to say: it sure beats the alternative.”

Old Lady: “Well, she must not have been a very good Christian.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Old Lady: “Yeah, a good Christian would not fear death and the judgment that follows.”

Me: “Umm, she was a trauma nurse in the ER for over thirty years. I’m fairly certain she was referring to the circumstances surrounding so many early deaths and not death itself, but sure, let’s just make judgment calls about her character instead.”

(Seriously, what kind of person’s first reaction to someone being grateful that they didn’t suffer an early death is that they must be morally unsound and fear judgment?)

Should Have Namaste’d Away

| San Francisco, CA, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre/Silly, Language & Words

(I am browsing in a little Tibetan clothing and accessory store. It is a very small and quiet shop, since I am the only customer in there, so I can easily see an older white lady come in, and I can overhear the conversation.)

Lady: *bows to cashier, who is a young Tibetan man* “Namaste.”

Cashier: “Oh, thank you, but in Tibet we actually say tashi delek.”

Lady: “Well, I can read energies, so I know what I’m doing. Your energy is a bit murky; are you having trouble with a girl?”

Cashier: “Um… no?”

Lady: “Are you sure? No girlfriend or wife?”

Cashier: “No.”

Lady: “Well, I can read energies, so you must have trouble on the horizon. Namaste!”

(She then leaves without buying anything, and I burst out laughing.)

Me: “What was that?!”

Cashier: “Whatever it was, it was weird.”

Woman Number One

| Dandenong, VIC, Australia | Bad Behavior, Popular, Strangers

(It’s boxing day, so the shopping centre is PACKED. I’m with my five-year-old sister and our mother. Our mum is next in line to try on clothing when my sister tells me she needs to go to the toilet. I take her while our mum is in the changing room. We get to the restrooms, and the line is about five women long, so not too bad, but annoying when you’ve got a young child who’s basically dancing because they need to pee. The other women in line see her dancing, which prompts this. The numbers I’ve assigned to the women represent their place in line, one being the front, five being the back.)

Woman #5: “Excuse me, how old is she?” *she gestures to my sister*

Me: “She’s five.”

Woman #5: *speaking to the women in front of her* “Can we let this little girl go before us?”

Woman #2, #3, and #4: “Of course! Look at her, she’s dancing!”

Woman #1: “No. They got here after us, they’ll have to wait.”

(One of the stalls opened, and Woman #1 ran into the stall before my sister could get a chance. My sister started to tear up because she didn’t want to wet herself. Luckily, a second stall opened up and I rushed inside with my sister to help her undo her shorts quickly. We walked out at the same time as Woman #1, who glared at us, washed her hands, and walked out of the bathroom. I understand needing to go to the toilet, but a young child who is jumping up and down because they need to go so badly should probably take priority over an adult. I may just be biased in the situation, but it’s still not right.)

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