I like to think that I am a person of reasonable intelligence, and understanding when it comes to dealing with other people. Sure, sometimes I lose my cool a bit, but we all do that from time to time, I think. But, something happened the other day, which just reminded me of other similar events that have happened to me since living here in the Philippines.
On Monday, I was at a local coffee shop, Blugre. I was having my normal Monday morning coffee get-together with readers of this site. I enjoyed the get together, as three regular blog participants showed up and we had a nice chat there. When it was time to go home, we all bid each other farewell, and headed outside.
My car was parked directly outside the front door of Blugre in a marked parking space. I was legally parked in a proper parking space, not hanging over any lines or anything, just a normal job of parking. I noticed immediately that another car was parked directly behind me. I had no way to pull out of my parking space because this other car was parked illegally behind me. I could not pull forward or I would be inside the coffee shop. I could not pull backward or I would hit this illegally parked car.
I could not be sure where the driver of the car was, because it was empty and locked. Blugre is in a large 17 floor corporate center, there just was no way to know where the driver could be found, because there are a lot of offices and retail businesses inside the building. I was kind of aggravated, to say the least. I put my laptop in my car, locked the car and stood there near the car behind me, watching for any sign of the driver.
I waited and I waited more. I asked around to see if anybody knew who’s car was parked behind me, but nobody knew. Really, there was nothing I could do but wait. I waited about 40 minutes, just standing there when the driver finally came. I asked him if that was his car, and he said it was. I asked him why he parked behind me like that, blocking me in the parking space. His response? “Because.” No apology, nothing. He gave me a kind of smart look as he got into his car.
Something similar happened to me about 4 or 5 years ago. A deliver truck parked right behind me in exactly the same manner. That time, it took about only 20 minutes of waiting before the driver showed up. I asked him if he could move his truck so that I could move out of the parking space and be on my way. This guy responded “No, I’ll leave when I am done.” I replied, “but you are parked illegally behind me.” He replied – “too bad, you are just a foreigner anyway.”
Hmm…. “just a foreigner?” What could I do. I got angry at him, which I should not have done, and I gave him a piece of my mind. It just slowed him down from moving, and did not help me in any way.
Normally, I find Filipinos to be very friendly, very accommodating. They will go out of their way to be helpful and nice. But, sometimes you come upon people who seem to go out of their way to be mean to you. Yes, there are people like this in every country of the world, I know that. But, it didn’t happen to me in another country, it happened in the Philippines, and I am writing about my experience here.
Usually, I find that the people who are rude like this are people with money. I get the feeling that they kind of go out of their way to be rude to you because you are a foreigner. I don’t know, maybe they were once treated badly by another foreigner, and are using you for “payback.” It’s not right, but I get a feeling that this is what is happening.
Anyway, this is not something that will ruin my life. It’s just frustrating, and inconsiderate. I wonder how people would react if I did the same thing? I’m not going to find out, though, because this is simply not something that I’d ever do.
I’m just a foreigner, after all…