It pains me to write this on a special day for me and my husband.
I have been living in the UK for over a decade. Apart from the occasional mildly racist greetings like ‘ni hao’ or ‘yo, Jackie Chan’ (yup, that’s a head-scratcher as I’m obviously female), I have never been a victim of severe insult or abuse.
In the past five months, however, I have been publicly abused and assaulted by three British persons. It is almost like a decade of poor tastes of Britain that I was meant to experience (or somehow managed to dodge) is finally playing catch-up.
1. The drunk type
After visiting the Christmas Market in Birmingham, me and my husband were looking around for a restaurant to dine. As we walked up to read the menu of a fine-dining restaurant just off New Street, I felt an aggressive force took down the hood of my coat and pulled my body backwards slightly.
I turned around to find a young man, drunk to his guts, with a disgusting smile across his face. His friend made a hardly sincere apology on his behalf, as they began to walk away from my ‘what the hell’ stare.
I checked my coat later to find this drunk man had actually yanked off some parts of my coat’s hood. And may I just add that my cream-coloured Zara coat costs £100.
As much as disorderly behaviour deriving from intoxication is a punishable crime, how many times have you heard someone say ‘never mind, s/he’s drunk’?
2. The racist type
I was involved in a minor road incident in Kenilworth. The side of my car was scratched by another that did not wait for me to park up by the parked cars on my side, so that he could drive through safely.
It is of course debatable to this day who really was the scratcher and scratch-ee, but the point of all this had nothing to do with the damage to our vehicles.
This British middle-aged man tried to get the upper hand of the situation by throwing out angry accusations, so it would look like it was my fault.
Just as I thought to myself that I would keep a calm head and not stoop to his level, this man dressed in a suit with a luxurious car said: “Can you even speak English?”
I held my composure and questioned him with an adequate amount of attitude: “Excuse me, what did you just say?” This sales manager, who works for a global energy supplier based in Bedfordshire, finally shut his filthy racist mouth.
3. The teen type
We knew the Friday night (mind you, it was only 9.15pm) + Good Friday + action movie combo were bound to invite some unwanted audience. Yet, none of us expected a minor assault by the end of it.
A group of around 20 unruly teenagers sat at the two back rows of the house. They had been extremely noisy even before the trailers and commercials were shown.
Rude comments and swear words were flying across the house, but it was clear other audience ignored them in the hopes that such annoyance would die down when the movie started – in most cases, it would.
Things began to heat up towards the end of the film, when they started knocking popcorns diall over the floor and throwing stuff at each other.
When the emotional tribute to Paul Walker came on and I felt a hard object hit the right hand side of my head, I just could not bottle my anger anymore.
Me and my husband stood up to them and demanded an apology. Our friend rushed out to notify the cinema manager. My brother-in-law tried to neutralise the situation as one of the teenager threatened to push my husband down the stairs.
I was not ready to back down and felt the need to bring justice to myself and everyone who came to simply enjoy a movie.
Apparently, these young people also insulted a disabled lady with her walking stick.
I filed a complaint to the police with the assistance of a very helpful manager named Mike, who made sure it was safe for us to leave the premise. A friendly couple also warned us that these teenagers were lingering outside the cinema and suggested for us to contact the police on patrol.
This problem is not only prominent in some schools where bullying thrives. Adults also experience such uncalled-for disrespect and abusive attacks.
If I need to take a citizen test to prove I can integrate into a society that promotes multi-culture and harmony, then stricter measures need to be put in place to root out those who upset social order.