Monday, August 16, 2010

What The…

Returning from a day of walking around the city, visiting old haunts, I was making my way back to the hotel late last evening. As I was walking along the high street, I came across a scene that made me so irritated that I didn’t know what to do but take action.

Some total tosser was standing outside one of the pubs along the high street. He was screaming at the top of his lungs at a group of people across the street at a bus stop. I was not sure what was going on so I took off my headphones and stopped the iPod. I approached with caution (as this idiot was on my side of the street) and listened to what was going on. I stopped just shy of the pub.

The people at the other side of the street were all wearing traditional Muslim garb, tunics and abas for the men, the women in either dresses with headscarves or the more traditional throb'ob. From the appearances, the crowd was waiting for a bus.

The guy was yelling at the crowd of people "Why don't you go back to your own country?" "This is our country!" "Jesus is the only lord!" "Learn to speak English!" and other such random epithets. As I approached, he turned to me. "These foreigners should go home! They're spoiling our country."

"It's your country, mate." I replied in my American accent. "And I am glad that you are not representative of its people!"

I crossed the street to get away from the guy. He kept yelling at the people and advancing on them into the road. I was past the main fringe when a cry came up and a bunch of people rushed by me. I turned and the man had crossed the street and was taunting them on this side. He grabbed one and tried to throw a punch but had it blocked. As he backed off, he almost crossed into a car that was passing. That was when I decided I could not remain silent. I stepped into the nearest chippy. I explained to the proprietor what was going on then took out my phone and dialed the police to report a dunk and disorderly in progress.

I understand people having opinions (even really stupid ones) but when the public safety is at stake, I have to take exception. I called the police because he was endangering himself, the crowd, and the traffic. The police came, calmed him down, and sent him on his way.

Wherever you are today, I hope you will express your opinion in a safe and orderly manner!

Don Bergquist - 16 August 2010 - Wembley, Middlesex, UK

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