If You Notice That An Old Friends Has Now Bad Company
I was in trouble yesterday. But it was one of those situations that I would call “Life Lessons”. I met someone who did count to my friend circle years ago. Days ago we decided that we would meet each other again after a long time. We met outside and I realized he had some other people around him, and he said they would be some cool guys. Well, you believe it if you don´t know the opposite but it didn´t take me too long to realize they are absolutely the opposite of cool.
One guy of them did tell me a story and it took some minutes until he finished the story and then I thought I could relate to his story because I experienced something similar. Until then everything was still fine. I started to tell him a story too and he often did interrupt me which would be still ok if there would not have been another problem. In Germany people usually tend to say something like “Ne, pass auf”, “Lass mich mal weiter erzählen” or maybe “Was ich meine…” and so. In english you maybe would say something like “No, wait… the point of the story is…”, “What I mean is,…” or maybe even “Let me tell you…”. I tend to say “Ne, pass auf” and literally translated it could also mean something like “Take care” while it can have a different meaning in the mentioned situation of a discussion that the dialog partner should be attentive if he would like to hear the real point of the story or how it ends.
So, this sentence has two or more meanings and it really depends when you use it. You know, in english “Take care!” can have several meanings too… if you say it loud and aggressive, it could mean something like “Be careful what you say!”. Basically there is a clear difference and it depends on the situation where and how you use sentences like this one. I´d say “Pass auf,…” would be something like “Do you care and want me to tell you more?” in German and this is really very common here but often used friendly. Now, in a very different situation if you was in school, a teacher would say exactly the same thing but maybe more in the direction of “Pay attention!”. So, the sentence could be meant as a command or as a friendly question if the person wants to listen to the end of the story. And then you use this also if someone will spend holidays anywhere and if you want that they take care on their journey.
Now, if you are German and if you only can associate this sentence with a teacher, you are probably dumb. Basically because everyone is aware of the different meaning and everyone can see the difference and how it is meant depending when and how you use it. If you can´t see the difference, you are probably socially stranded, to be honest. This guy who partly listened to me was not able to do it and told me “Don´t speak with me like a teacher and stop asking me if I care!”. I answered “Well, if you care, this was just a friendly question to find out if I should go on with the story. What is wrong with it?”. And again, you hear something like “Pass auf,..” very often here in Germany if people talk with each other and as long as you don´t say “Pass auf!” (exclamation mark) like if it would be a command, everything is fine. This guy couldn´t see this difference and started to obsess over the other meanings of the phrase. I think this is really one of the situations where you think “Oh man, you must have problems!” and just stopped to discuss with him because it wouldn´t result in anything.
Minutes later he asked me how long I would need to style my hair and said “You are looking like an Italian” promptly followed by “You know, I am just kidding, right?” and “Do you eat a lot of Pizza or Pasta?”. It´s worth to mention that he did basically end every stupid sentence with “You know I am kidding, right?” as if he would always need to excuse him self for his dumb ramblings. But even if he excused and said it would be a joke, he really said this as if it would be bad to be from Italy and I told him, even if I am German and not Italian, I wouldn´t have a problem, if me or someone else would be, because it doesn´t matter where someone is from or how he looks like and asked him if it would matter for him because I did wonder about the intonation. He answered “So, basically you want to tell me that you are 100% German but you have shitty hair like an Italian?” and did end his sentence again with his excuse that he would be just kidding. Notice the “100% German” and “Shitty Hair Like an Italian”? It instantly gives you insight in his world of thought. I am not sure why I even did so but I only said “You know what? If I go to the bathroom, it will take me two minutes to get the look that seems to entertain people like you. And I am not kidding!” and approached my “old friend” that I do think that it would be better if I leave him and his “friends” alone . The point was that no matter what you would say, this one guy seemed to seek only one thing, trouble even if he did excuse for every sentence he said but it was his intonation and the subjects that made clear what he is up to and I also assumed this guy would be a racist and a troublemaker. You know, it can get worse if it is already the worst. My “old friend” did convince me to stay some minutes because everything would be fine and it was probably the most stupid decision to believe this. I said, I stay a few minutes to talk with you but nothing more. This was definitely the wrong decision or maybe not because…
Another guy with black skin colour came along and trust me I wouldn´t mention his skin colour if the following wouldn´t have happened… the guy came along and did greet us all very friendy and it seemed as if he would know my old friend and they talked partly in English and partly in German. I thought this guy seemed to be cool and I asked him where he would be from and he answered in English “I am living in Germany now but I do come from Ghana in Africa”. I answered “Ok that is interesting and told him that I know another person who is from Africa but from Eritrea” and we started to have a very nice conversation that I enjoyed. The earlier mentioned dumb person did look at me and said something like “It´s ok, it´s ok…” and I said “What is ok?” and he said on German “You speak in English with this black guy? It´s ok, it´s ok!”. His facial expression and the way he talked with me didn´t mean anything good. I seemed to be a traitor in his eyes because I talked in English and not in German, and I talked with a black guy which was a fact that he seemed to dislike as well.
I am a man of principles and sometimes this results in very bad situations. In this situation my principle was now not to leave and to tell the black guy that he should leave this place with me together because it is dangerous for him now. This dumb racist near me maybe didn´t understand my full English sentence that I told the black guy but he seemed to understand a few words that did really upset him more. I now told him that I do speak with whomsoever and that nobody can forbid me doing so, especially not if it´s reasoned by a racist. I told him too that there are now two ways how we can handle our situation… I will either leave together with the guy from Ghana because the situations seems to get hot or that they won´t let me doing so, but then he should tell me because this would mean trouble and I would like it to know what his intention is. He did stand up and had an aggressive stance and I told him again that he now should be very careful (yes, now the word careful became amusingly a very different meaning, considering the initial discussion about the word) because his stance would indicate that I must fight back and that I will do so if he will attack me. I gave him a last chance and asked “I don´t want this kind of trouble, but do you want?” and he said “Everything is fine, everything is fine! I´m not kidding!”. I am not really a fan of violence unless it´s for defence but this dumb guy seemed to calm down and I said “I will leave now…”
Again I dislike violence but at this moment I should have punched him right in his face. Why? Because that I didn´t, and that I believed he calmed down, this was the wrong conclusion and I should have known better considering all the dumb happenings. I did turn around to leave and this was wrong. He did take his chance and jumped into my spinal and I fell to the ground. What a coward! Telling me that there will be no trouble, but only to use this to fight with me sneaky! Then a second racist started with threats. Lying on the ground, I was indeed in a bad position now. I did stand up and expected no good but fortunately all this happened in front of a Turkish snack bar and a few people there came out to go between. It was loud but the situation was now less dangerous. If there wouldn´t be the friendly guys between I really would have gotten mad at this person even if the situation was not to my advantage. But one of the bar owners was beetween and said to me “Never mind, don´t make your hands dirty on this racist!” and it seemed that they monitored our situation already since some time. Even if it was still loud, the Turkish guys really were able to keep us all apart, surprisingly with no more violence. We were finally able to leave the place and I assume it was due to the fact that the racist guys did shit in their pants, when the Turkish guys did join.
The black guy was able to leave the place as well without any injuries and this is the only reason why my stupid decision to stay was finally not too stupid. Sometimes things make sense. I am ok too. The palm of my hand did hurt a little bit today because I fell on the hand and I had to clean my jacket today. It could have been worse, but what makes me sad is that an “old friend” has such bad company and that strangers had to go between while this “old friend” that I am from now on never will call friend again, didn´t help me. It seems that his racist friends are much more important than an old friend like me. I am not even sure why he didn´t warn the black guy if he knew that his dumb friends could make trouble with him. It makes me maybe sad how people change but on the other side it makes me happy that bad situations are there to teach you who are people that you not belong to. Apart from that it can teach you also about decision-making. I take those things very serious and I didn´t even get a message from him to ask how I am and this is anyway only something that a friend would do, but he might have been a friend years ago, but today he is clearly not. But even if he would have asked, my answer would be clear… he does not have to care because the connection between us is now broken for ever, even if there was not much of a connection anyway in the past years apart from the one meeting yesterday. Should he go the wrong direction but his bad company won´t be good for him, that´s promised. I am pretty much sure those troublemakers get him often in these kind of situations. I am sure because they only seem to seek trouble and nothing else. It might work for them often but at some point they will mess with the wrong guys and end in the hospital. But then I´d say “It´s their fault”. But for me this case is simply just closed because I am mature enough to not make my hands dirty on them afterwards.
After the happenings I visited my mother and her husband to tell the story and they said I was doing everything right and her husband said even it was stupid to stay when I already knew it will lead to trouble, at the end it was also civil courage, he said. But the husband of my mother was quite upset about those guys. He also said that I should next time call him by phone or the police but you know, situations like this one go out of control fast and a sneaky attack happens in seconds. Written it looks like a long situation but things happened too fast. That´s how it is. But as said, I am ok now and I have not much injuries and the black guy not too, I think this is most important and indeed the happy end.