At first I was not sure if I should write abut this but then I thought what good is a blog if I do not write about all my experiences … the questionable ones as well as the good ones.
This evening I went to a popular restaurant in El Calafate. It was on the upper end of the scale in terms of price and jam packed with International tourists. I was dressed well and alone and decided to take a spot at the bar. Ordered a steak and a nice glass of red wine. When the steak arrived the couple next to me started a conversation with a standard “wow that looks good”. This is usually a nice way to open a door to a stranger and give permission to have a conversation I think. The couple was fantastic. They were from Israel and having the time of their lives. We had been to many of the same cities and the conversation was lively and quite humorous. It felt like I was having dinner with old friends.
Towards the end of the meal I felt a tap on my back. I turned around and a moderately dressed blond young woman was standing behind me with what looked to be her boyfriend next to her. In the most condescending and arrogant tone she could muster, eyes narrow and vicious she quietly whispered, “you should learn to be quiet and leave nice people alone”. There was no question that she was insulting me and I am not making this up she actually said that. I had only two glasses of wine tonight so I was not intoxicated and misheard her.
I had no idea who this person was. I had not seen her in the restaurant. She had a European accent from memory maybe a Nordic country I really do not know. A waiter told me she was sitting a few tables behind me. I locked into her eyes and said “That’s pretty ignorant to say to a stranger don’t you think? Who are you?” She inhaled to say something else with a look that I could only describe as full of hate … and before another word came out of her I proclaimed, … “Don’t be such a bitch in public. You do not know who I am and how dare you approach a stranger in a restaurant and criticize them” I remember saying again and again “how dare you, who do you think you are?”
I did not realize it but at this time we were at the door and she had moved away from me with her male companion like a zombie next to her. I cannot remember how we even got to the door. She still had a look of condescension that effectively vanished when I told her she was a cow and best to keep her trap shut when approaching someone she did not know and insulting them. I think I was pointing at her like a she was a child.
She quickly darted out of the restaurant with a look of horror and I still cannot believe her male companion said absolutely nothing. He was just blank and lifeless from what I vaguely remember.
I looked around and everyone in the restaurant including the staff was silent watching me. I smiled and apologized to everyone in full voice proclaiming “someone thought they could insult a stranger” and would you believe that the entire restaurant just went straight back into their meals? Some even smiled back at me with a look of understanding.
No one batted an eyelid.
I waltzed back to the couple I was speaking to earlier and the husband said “don’t worry you are a great guy and we have really enjoyed your company. People are just stupid” the wife said, “just keep smiling”. I shrugged my shoulders smiled and enjoyed the rest of my fantastic evening (with a fabulous dessert) and enjoyed the company of my new friends until it was time to go home.
I am back in my room now and thought I would write this entry. Have been giggling a bit to myself because for every one jerk I have met there are a thousand that have been awesome.
But believe it or not on the cruise in Antarctica a British woman approached me in the ship’s bar and told me “people on the ship really hate you”. On the last night on the ship an Irish woman said to me in the hall “You really are a shit personality”. These were unprovoked and they were moments where the two sought me out when I was alone and when I honestly did not recall speaking to them with any great importance during the cruise. I corrected their improper behavior in a similar way to this person at the restaurant tonight.
I want to state that about 148 people on board the ship told me that I was the life of the party and fantastic and of course I have all their emails etc. the couple I had dinner with tonight patted me on the back when they left the restaurant and said “you were a pleasure to dine with this evening” and handed me their contact details.
Sooo … What gives?
I shared these stories with the front desk clerk tonight and he said something that really struck me. He said that he had seen a noticeable change in the behavior of Europeans travelling this year and some Americans. He told me that if he were in the situation he would have reacted in the same way. Another guest who overheard me speaking to the clerk walked up to me and shook my hand and asked “did you really say that to that woman”? When I nodded he proclaimed, “I like your style”. As he walked away I asked, “Where are you from? “Israel” he proclaimed.
The desk clerk said that he believed the news is nothing but terrible especially in Europe and all people see is negativity and pain. The Clerk told me that he sees so many people on holiday from Europe that look absolutely miserable. This was a very young man with a cool chilled look about him that is probably helped by the fact he has pulled back dred locks and a goatee. He seemed like the kind of grounded guy that you could get quite high with after hours. I really liked him. He spoke about his theories that something had changed in the world and people were losing their minds. He said that what I told him was terrible about the dinner but that it really did not surprise him. He also said that when he has seen me around the hotel he only sees me with a smile on my face and a look of content. He told me that if you think about it you are not really normal to a lot of people. He said that is sad for them and we should all feel so much pity for these miserable lost souls. Hope and pray that they will find the happiness that you and I have.
I had a great night tonight and a fantastic day. I actually feel really good that I have the strength and the courage to stand up to people that are obviously misbehaving with me. I am definitely not a push over. Interestingly the three bitch encounters I have had out of the hundreds of great ones have not affected the trip except for an observation that I want to share. In each case the ladies in question did not say a word back at me when I proclaimed they were being terrible and they seemed to be stunned that someone was actually calling there arrogance out in public. Is it possible that people actually go around this world with such attitudes and ignorance and have never once been challenged. If so I would like to start a call to action. If someone insults you with no provocation or is rude outwardly … let them have it because they asked for it. This especially goes for the male assholes that are out there two. Have not met them yet by the way. Hope that encounter does not turn into a fistfight but to be honest I am tough enough to handle it. I Just hope I don’t break a nail.