I can hear you already. Maybe he was having a bad day. Maybe his dog died. Maybe he just lost his job. Maybe this was an isolated incident. Maybe he really was a Lazy Bastard and this was a momentary lapse into asspatism. An anomaly. You can keep making excuses for these people as long as you want. I don’t care. I just watched a guy go from hero to zero in less time than it takes to fry an egg.
Since it has been exceedingly rare to see a foreigner behave in such a disrespectful manner, it almost felt personal, like I should have gotten involved and straightened this fucker out, and hopefully saved the Wellcome staff the indignity of his attitude. However, it is common to see foreigners acting like the entitled and arrogant jerks which the Yankee stereotype is built upon, and I long ago stopped feeling shame or embarrassment for their actions. While I am not responsible for them, it makes me sad to know that the guilt of association is unavoidable.
And I thought about it right there, that if I’d seen the same thing happen back home, there’s no doubt I would have stepped up and said, “Hey, dude, take it easy. Show some respect.” But then again, that’s a mild version of Good Samaritan shit that gets people shot while standing in line at a Houston convenience store. Of course, that would never happen in Taipei.
And then I was reminded of another of my Lazy Bastard mottos: Don’t get involved in other people’s bullshit. Stay out of it. This was the point where the guy looked over and noticed me watching; he cocked his head and made a slight grimace, as if he were saying. “What the fuck are you looking at?” I shook my head, turned on heel and began walking toward the exit, but not before hearing the guy say, “Speak English! I don’t understand you!”
I heard the manager say, “Sir, it’s OK” but by then I’d then reached the automatic doors and started climbing the stairs toward street level. Pretty much end of story as far as I was concerned. Standing at the corner waiting for the light to change so I could cross the street and continue home, the former Lazy Bastard approached from behind and stood about a meter to my left, muttering to himself under his breath.
I looked over and noticed he was empty handed, which indicated he had abandoned the entire transaction in a huff. Still looking across my shoulder, I said, “Nice work, jackass.” There was no response.