You get rude people everywhere

True. You get rude people everywhere. People are dickheads, yo.

I have a question to open up to the group. I think collectively, my readership has probably travelled to and even lived in most countries in the world.

In any of those countries, is is socially acceptable to try to shove past a blind person or their assistance dog?

Because I saw two people trying to do that yesterday on the train. There were two blind people with an assistance dog. They were getting off the train at 21.30, the dog was going last and was waiting for the people to get down. See, the fucking DOG knew to give them some space and time to get down, what with the steps being tall and the gap to the platform being wide.

Honestly, they were not taking an obscene amount of time about it. Like, maybe an extra 5 seconds on how long a sighted person might take.

But the woman in front of me grew tired of this and tried to shove past the dog. And the man behind me, grew tired of me giving them space and tried to shove past me to get out.

Let me repeat, it was 21.30. Where could they have needed to go in such a hurry? And how much difference does five seconds really make to a journey? And why is it socially acceptable to even DO THAT?

Are there any other countries where it is socially acceptable to shove a blind person?

 

NOTE TO READER: Notice the difference between ‘socially acceptable to shove a blind person’ and ‘everyone in a particular country shoves blind people if they get a chance’. It’s subtle but it’s there.

This entry was posted in Denmark, Travelogue and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to You get rude people everywhere

  1. Canadian says:

    OMG. It feels bad to be shoved as a seeing person. Imagine how powerless and vulnerable these people must feel when that happens.
    Unacceptable.

    • Kel D says:

      I know, right. I saw the woman later and ranted into my phone about the situation while I walked down the street so she would hear how fucking disgusted with her I was, without having to go to the effort to make contact.

      • Canadian says:

        I find that there are zero consequences for any bad behavior, no matter who is the target. The typical Danish response to horrendous behavior is a blank stare.

      • Oh yeah, Canadian is right. If you’d personally called her out on it, I can guarantee you she would have just given you that blank owl with amnesia stare.

      • Kel D says:

        And given me some bullshit excuse about how it wasn’t that bad and if the blind person didn’t like it, they could have said something.

  2. Kel D says:

    No, it IS socially acceptable. I’ll tell you how I reached this conclusion.
    1) A woman tried to do it
    2) No one tried to stop her
    3) A man tried to do it straight after her
    4) When I stopped him, he looked SHOCKED AS SHIT that anyone would say anything to him
    5) I was the only one who was shocked, everyone else looked on impassively

    If there are no socially awkward consequences for misbehaviour: it is socially acceptable. That is what that means.

    You don’t get much smaller than Fredericia.

    • Kel D says:

      I’ve seen it elsewhere. This is not the first time. This is not the first place.
      I have never seen this shit challenged.

      No, just because small villages exist, doesn’t make Fredericia ‘a big city’.

      You are not going to tell me I haven’t travelled “enough” in Denmark to know that there are ZERO social consequences for mistreating the disabled and elderly in this country.

      • Kel D says:

        How dare you tell me how much I have been around this country is ‘not enough’?

        And I am insisting that, indeed, that having no social consequences for a behaviour means it is socially acceptable. If you cannot understand the point, we’re going nowhere.

        I don’t know what the blind people did.
        They may not have been aware that their dog was shoved, what with them having a dangerous situation to negotiate at the same time.

        But if I were blind, I would have said nothing even if I did notice the behaviour.

        There are some rough people out there and a sighted person can judge if it is safe to deliver a telling off. A blind person is in considerable danger if they say anything. If they enrage a violent person, they are in no position to defend themselves.

      • Kel D says:

        Stop now. Stop.

        You’re going to decide the *degree* to which a blind person was assaulted so you can say it is justifiable in Danish culture??

        The dog was DEFINITELY pushed. From where I was standing, I could not see if the blind person was pushed but she must have been because the dog was right behind her.

        Yes. Of course I did. It is absolutely unacceptable to behave this way and I said something to the man about it. Blank bovine face. The woman caught me by surprise and my mouth was hanging open. We happened to be taking the same route home so I made sure that the woman heard me talk about her behaviour on the phone to my boyfriend.

        In my country, this is what we do to regulate this sort of behaviour:-
        “OMG, did you see that?”
        “Yes, it’s appalling!”
        “I cannot BELIEVE that woman just did that!”
        (Safety in numbers, social pressure)
        “Hey, love, why did you shove that blind person’s dog??”

        If we are on our own and it is safe, we might say “Excuse me, do you realise what you did was completely unacceptable?” otherwise, we talk about them loudly on our phones.

        In Denmark. NO ONE EVEN LOOKS UNCOMFORTABLE. No one looks angry. No one looks upset. No one looks like they want to say something. Because. It is socially acceptable behaviour. Society is accepting it.

      • Kel D says:

        And another thing.
        How is it that you believe that YOU have a better insight into what actually happened than an actual eye witness?

  3. Kenneth was at a comedy show with his parents last night where he was the youngest person there by a good 20 years.

    A man collapsed in one of the theatre exits after the show, and Kenny said middle-aged men STEPPED OVER HIM to get to the toilets. I had to get him to repeat that, it was so stunning to me.

    P.S. Your Note to Reader is a big improvement, ha ha!

    • Canadian says:

      !!!!!!!
      There are no words.

    • Kel D says:

      FUCK ME.

      If this was the first time I’d seen anything like this, I’d have been like “wow, two complete jerks coincidentally in the same place at the same time. FANCY THAT.” But this is what people do here. It was shocking to me only because of how trivial the time saved was. I am inured to it most of the time.

  4. HOX says:

    Grotesque, and normal here, this assumed, divine right to shove / push / trample, without consequence. I can’t shut my mouth though, I had occasion to react to a potentially dangerous situation on a train once, I raised my voice in an appeal for help, nothing, I might as well have been in the middle of a Danish bog, on my own! Your experience just tells my that the dog is more civilised than the two ignorant a******s.

    • Kel D says:

      It can be dangerous to speak up because it is not considered culturally wrong to treat people like this.

      • HOX says:

        I’ll take the risk becauses for me it is culturally wrong, and it is a natural reaction to be horrified…I haven’t assimilated yet!

      • Kel D says:

        Yeah, me too. I’ll take the beating if needs be. But I understand when others won’t.

  5. cliff arroyo says:

    A nice thing about living in Poland is that most of the time it’s perfectly socially acceptable to call people out for behavior like that. You just need the language skills (huffing in English won’t impress anyone) and do so directly and to their faces (loud comments to travelling companions meant to be overhead would be ignored as they should be). But getting involved in other people’s business has a long tradition here.

    My all purpose call out is “(you just did X) are you normal?” It stings people to the core even if they don’t show it much openly. “I think your behavior is boorish” (loses a _lot_ in the translation) is also a good all purpose attack.

    What are Danes sensitive about? Learn a few cutting phrases in Danish perfectly and let loose with them.

    • Kel D says:

      I do. Believe me. I do.

      The offending party *might* look shamefaced. The bystanders look at you like you might be armed if they don’t look at you blankly.

      It’s not against the rules to behave like that here. I am being a cultural imperialist by calling it out.

  6. I’m no blind but it happened a few times in the park that people who were running, jumped over my dog. Seriously, if they’re out there to get their pulse up,they could put an extra effort in a few more steps and run around the poor soul. My dog is social. but he’s a senior and his sight is getting poorer. Besides, having big foot flying over his head is not part of his socializing training.

Comments are closed.