I wish I have an eye at the back of my head to see the woman pushing one of the most expensive, state of the art Stokke-xplor buggy, which lower baggage carrier edge bumped hard on my middle right leg after I and little Elisa, just walked out from the Randstadrail train in The Hague Central station.
The distance when it happened was around one ruler stick, 30 centimeters close from the edge of the deep rail track. Thank God and my alert guardian angel because I had strong grip on little Elisa and I wore a rubber shoes so my left foot had good balance on the pavement.
When it happened the Randstadtrail just started to march to its normal speed to go. If I was not quick enough, I and Elisa would have both fallen accidentally in the deep train rail track just like on the tragic film of Anna Karenina. I had to shove away these negative thoughts and deal with the moment as growing pain throbbed on the middle of my right leg.
The woman shouted a brusque “SORRY” without looking at me nor Elisa as well as the woman’s teenage daughter had her Samsung smart phone directed on me and I heard a click.
Both of them walked away with their distintive slow, alluring sway of sexy hips. At first glance, they reminded me of the sexy ladies in Paradiso, Lugano. I noticed that both of them were busy, concentrated sending messages in their latest model of Samsung tablet phone! Obviously the only one watching the world around them as they walked blindly to the crowd of passengers was the baby with innocent curiosity safely sitting in the buggy.
Looking around, I noticed that many people waiting or walking along the station had their heads focused on smartphones instead on where they were going to.
What is it anyway in today’s world that people can’t simply unplug from their modern gadgets?
Why is it that others don’t care when they are addictively hooked on connecting with the web world that they lost awareness of the real world where in their reckless abandon on gadget can cause hurt, incidents, accidents or endanger others because instead of being careful, they are hooked on the gadget?
My right leg, throbbing with pain, clipped any kind of response from my side as I just nodded to acknowledge her rush, detach and loud apology which rang with insincerity as I moved limping slowly away from the edge of the rail track, holding Elisa firmly in one hand.
The pain on my right leg felt like it was about to swell. Walking with a limping leg towards the elevator, I coincidentally saw the woman who accidentally bumped hard on me. Both the woman and her teenage daughter had their heads down, tapping keys on their smartphones and laughing out loud, the teenager mimicking with huge sarcasm as they repeated twice “Aray! aray! ” because that was what they heard me say after she bumped hard on me.
“Aray!” means “ouch!” in Filipino language. Sometimes on sudden pain and incidents like this, I automatically express my discomfort and pain still on my native mother tongue and not translate in a foreign lingo for everyone to understand.
They didn’t see me approach as obviously they were sharing and ridiculing the incident in a long message either as a status for their Facebook or for Hyves or any other net work link they were so busy connecting with.
I was seething with anger both from my painful leg and how the two ridiculed their apology. I was moving closer to them to get the elevator too and carefully observed them as my unexpressed rancor grew silently to the oblivious duo who continued to mock the incident by the rail track.
Studying carefully the very attractive woman who was obviously a high maintenance lady, a connoisseur of everything that is modern and expensive, from the impressive Stokke-xplor buggy, her very expensive elegant leather boots, her branded sleek leather shoulder bag, her tight fitting sexy glittered jeans that says Tom Ford on its brand and her flawless face adorned with make up, right in front of me was a very beautiful exotic African beauty whom one can mistake her for either African, Brazilian or Antillean roots.
Back in Lugano, Switzerland, I have very good friends from Angola, Sudan and Brazil, I feel at home with them, they are down-to-earth and with good, generous heart. Here in The Netherlands I have also very good hearted friends of Antillean and British African origin friends from school of my daughters. Whenever I and my daughters go out of the house to do errands or travel, I like “people-watching,” where I observe people, watch their expressions, wonder behind those changing facial emotions and simply keenly observe their attitudes and behavior without harsh judgment.
Living here for four years now in The Netherlands, this was the first time I encountered an incident with a most arrogant attractive woman with her most disrespectful daughter. I assumed that may be this very sexy attractive lady came from one of the former Dutch colonies – the Antilles: Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius or Saba.
Standing next to the very attractive lady of “perhaps” Antillian origin, I told her firmly,
“Next time be very careful. Watch out where you go instead of typing messages on your phone.”
She was towering me with her height and at that moment I wish I was taller. Being small has its disadvantages at times!
She looked at me arrogantly and shouted again,
“SORRY! DO YOU HEAR THAT? I SAID SORRY, WHAT DO YOU WANT MORE?”
Her arrogant authoritarian voice hang in the air matched with her intimidating gesture of hands in her hips!
I was shocked and hurt of her defensive, offensive scream as her teenage daughter laughed out loud beside her, raised her hand and gave me a “f*ck you!”middle finger gesture.
Elisa was fidgetting and agitated beside me. I was about to explode to reply but the pain on my leg hurts a lot.
Saying something harsh and sending her to hell with a bloody reply out of decorum or respect would only worsen the situation so I warned her firmly again, my big round strict eyes catching her gaze like a mother’s disciplinary eye when I said with slow emphasis:
“Next time please be very careful! If I were an old lady, I would have fallen already in the rail road track.”
The attractive offensive woman shouted again, “SORRY! SORRY! Can’t you understand that?”
She was baiting for discussion, I noticed the American accent on her English but I think I disappointed her and even enraged her when I said calmly but firmly in an obvious warning tone:
“Are you sure you meant when you shouted “sorry?” Next time, say “sorry” with sincerity.”
I decided not to wait for her reply nor the elevator where all of us will be heatedly cramped in together so I and little Elisa walked slowly towards the stairs.
I limped with pain and controlled anger but more with an angry heart and active suppressed mind filled with jammed unsaid retorts.
May be I should have matched the woman’s hissing virago but it won’t be of any use. When I looked back, the daughter of the ranting woman gave me another “f*ck you*” middle finger sign and raised her smartphone as the glass elevator descended adjacent to the stairs where I and Elisa were going down.
On the ground floor of The Hague central station, I saw them again but more with farther distance. Both of them are typing again in their smartphones and the teenage daughter put her tablet phone in the handle of the Stokke-xplor buggy, both mother and daughter with zigzagging strides as they typed on their smartphones, walking in an alluring, sexy way without watching where they were going!
I waited until they don’t look at me anymore, I unzipped my bag & got my phone, took a shot of them from a distance:
With a limping, swollen right leg, we didn’t go anymore to the city but went back to take the tram-train (Randstadrail) to go home. While sitting on the train, I was reflecting on these lines:
“Could it be that after our holiday in Zante I became darker than my usual tan that she didn’t see me?
Was it because I was so small the she didn’t see me?
I had the big bag from Joanne and Elisa at my side, I was wearing a white skirt, so it was impossible if she didn’t see me.
For I know I am darker brown than my usual normal tan, could it be I was too dark that she didn’t see me? And I was too small that she didn’t see me and thinking about her ancestral roots as I figure out from her beautiful exotic dark looks, I tried to understand where she may had originally come from, why she behaves that way, may be for her that was normal to behave that way and her haughty defensive ways goes down to a sad history of long time ago slavery when it comes to African looks, she may be Brazilian, Antillian or from a colonized country where African slaves where maltreated in the past and where many people tend to overlook and have wrong assumptions whenever some see a person of native African origin or looks.
At times knowing or having an overview of history of people, their ethnicity and roots help you understand why they behave on such a way as if everyone is an enemy in the society, why they carry a louder tone in their voice, why instead of being sympathetic they become immediately defensive especially if when it comes to one who has a darker color in skin. May be their frank, rude manners are not the same to the mild, subdued, respectful, meek, ways of others.
Inferiority complex, problems in the family privy to the public, characters unknown from a mere stranger, harsh coping mechanism and negative reactions when all these are misused together end up being arrogant, disrespectful, defensive and offensive to others.
I noticed the offensive woman’s expensive branded pants, her carefully cosmetically painted face, high heeled leather boots, the alluring sway of her hips, the tight dark figure hugging blouse with deep plunging V to show a pair of sexy breasts bulging indentions and the kinky straightened hair of the woman’s fat disrespectful teenager.
Branded goods, well groomed looks, physical allure won’t uplift anyone’s respect especially when they have rotten behavior and bad attitudes.
The real beauty and essence that still catch and pave way to a harmonious road are the ones with respectful ways.
I observed the other people around the station: many were busy walking and at the same time sending messages or answering their phones. Many are enslaved by modern gadgets. Many are elegantly dressed with matching bags and shoes along with their fashionable clothes. Many are up to date to have the latest modern gadgets. Many are busy updating their status in the internet!
Many forget that elegance in personality are not merely physical looks or expensive apparels. Many ignore that danger does not take a rest and it can happen anywhere due to reckless attitudes of people who are enslaved by modern gadgets. Modern society may have advanced so much technologically but this big leap had its worse decline on the attitudes, behavior and values of every consumer, that even simple, basic humane nature when it comes to safety awareness and respect are quite neglected as many become enslaved as cold as their gadgets.
How many incidents in our life that we give and receive a truly sincere apology?
A sincere apology that comes from the heart if we offended someone.
A humble acceptance that comes from the heart if we were the one hurt?
To accept the situation, forgive the offenses, let go of it.
Each of us have unique coping mechanism on how we would handle such situation like what I shared here today.
Even keeping one’s anger is not good but it was a smart move especially when the offensive woman became defensive and started to make a dramatic gesture and scene out of it.