Last night, when I stood in an ATM queue right on the city square, I heard the following from behind:
”I want to break the neck on that guy, don't you? I mean, just look at him.”
I thought that as long as it's merely drunken nonsense, I might just pretend I didn't hear it. But then another guy lifted the rear of my bicycle - while I was on it - and turned it 90 degrees.
”Let go!”, I said, but then the guy behind took a half-serious stranglehold on me and said:
”What if I break your neck?”
While in his grip, I asked him why he would do that. He said something about me having to move faster in the queue and I replied that I did my best, that I didn't like queueing either.
”Okay, he's alright, he can't move faster”, he said with an evil grin and let go of me.
When I stared at him, he said ”Now don't look at me like that, I'm protecting you from the other guy”.
”Thank you very much”, I said and turned around.
”Wouldn't you wan't to break the neck of that guy?”, I heard him again.
It was outrageous, I thought when I left the ATM. But there was absolutely nothing I could have done. I was the lone victim of their drunken macho urge to show just what street rules you have to abide to. A video tape of the situation would show a court that their aggression was completely unprovoked. I didn't say or do anything - I hadn't looked their way. Yet provoked they were, by something I don't really understand. Nor do I understand how they dare to lay their hands on a complete stranger just like that.
So, what is the right course of action for me in the future, as to prevent me getting upset by these incidents? Should I avoid moving around on weekends, when the whole city centre is in a drunken stupor? Should I re-style myself so as to fit in better? Should I learn to surpress my anger and just let them hurl their obscenities at me, let them invade my personal space? No, I'm sorry, but I'd rather find another city. That wouldn't be giving up. Anything ELSE would be giving up.
written by Mattias