I work in the middle of CBD, as in around One Raffles Place and I needed a mid-day coffee to keep my work day going. Usually at this point, I would just put on my headphones, jump into the elevator and just cross the road (10m) to get my coffee. At this point, I’m usually “in the zone” and still processing my work thoughts.
Alas, a pot-bellied white guy walked into my path (or I walked into his path, it doesn’t matter to me) and I felt a cold sweaty smear of his arms into mine when we briefly walked into each other. I looked up and was prepared to walk away when I saw that he was angry and didn’t look like he was saying something nice, but since I had my headphones on, I couldn’t hear his choice words.
So I popped them off, all I heard was him talking about viruses and social distancing. We had quite a bit of a confrontation (mind you, in the middle of the CBD). At that point, I was a little shocked that the situation escalated that quickly and I was dealing with an angry Caucasian man. Thoughts were racing through my head: Is it because I’m Chinese? Am I supposed to say sorry?
Now onto my unkind words, I told him that “he wouldn’t last long here” and the gentleman remarked that he’s been here for 10 years and stood his ground, getting increasingly confrontational.
I live in the East Coast, where I’ve never gotten into a confrontation of this nature before. I see Caucasian guys thronging pubs during the weekends and I don’t see them having these kind of sensitivities.
I’m sorry, but do I have a right to be angry? Are some expats living in a personal bubble? Hearing these stories from overseas where Asian people are getting abused for the pandemic situation, I’m a little shocked to experience a bit of that in my own home country, in the most public of places.
What do you guys think?