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WIBU to pay no attention to this woman when she shouted at me for being foreign....

(28 Posts)
Caledoniacalling Fri 29-Mar-13 12:26:52

Name changed as don't want to out-myself.

Yesterday I was out with DD (22 mo). We had stopped at a juice bar in a busy shopping centre and DD was standing up on a bar seat (a wooden chair).

We are not in the UK (but I am British).

A woman approached us and asked if I spoke the language - in my broken local language I said sorry but no and then in English she started to tell me that it was disgusting that I would come to their country and not respect them or their traditions. She said that they would never let children stand on chairs and I should leave the bar immediately, and that I should just go home (to my own country) because I wasn't wanted.

Taking a very deep breath, I apologised that my actions with DD had offended her, and said that I wouldn't take DD down (and that we weren't offending anyone else around) as her shoes had not been outside and were not dirty, but that I would be sure to clean the chair anyway.

She said again that foreign people were not welcome and that we all thought we were better and that we should just leave the country. Then she said again that I was offending her and should leave the juice bar.

I didn't leave, but I did ask for a cloth to clean the seat off. I felt pretty awful. WIBU?

HollyBerryBush Fri 29-Mar-13 12:29:30

Funny thing that, you can always tell English children/families abroad before they open their mouths. Purely by behaviour.

quoteunquote Fri 29-Mar-13 12:29:56

There are stupid people the world over, ignore.

StrawberriesTasteLikeLipsDo Fri 29-Mar-13 12:30:06

Just goes to show the twat epidemic is worldwide grin Yanbu the shoes were clean and you cleaned the seat. Fuck the xenophobe

Plumsofgold Fri 29-Mar-13 12:30:32

She's an idiot and was being very unreasonable.

I do hate to see children standing on chairs though so I think you were unreasonable to let her!

Montybojangles Fri 29-Mar-13 12:33:21

Out of interest, which part of the world (continent wise) are you in?
I'm agreeing she's a twunt by the way.

ZZZenEggain Fri 29-Mar-13 12:35:39

I'm afraid it is a danger when you live overseas that you can encounter this kind of nastiness. I don't think she was really genuinely upset about your dd, probably she overheard you speaking English to your dd and just wanted to have a go at you. With people like that, any trigger will do. They seem to leave the house, psyched up for a fight. Probably drinks too much coffee and swallows it down with nastiness for breakfast.

BabyMakesTheBellyGoRound Fri 29-Mar-13 12:36:55

What country were you in? Were you aware of certain traditions?

There was no need for her to be rude but there was also no need for you to be disrespectful to another nations traditions.

BabyMakesTheBellyGoRound Fri 29-Mar-13 12:38:14

I am assuming the shoes thing is religious based btw.

foxache Fri 29-Mar-13 12:38:39

Holly, change the word English in your post to any other nationality or culture and it's quite offensive.

Op, yanbu, it sounds like you handled this in a calm way, others are right that there are twats everywhere.

ZZZenEggain Fri 29-Mar-13 12:40:04

the tradition was not letting dc stand on bar stools presumably. Don't see what traditions she was showing a lack of respect to by stopping at a juice bar with a dc and having a drink. In any case the woman didn't own the juice bar, did she? I think the proprietor has a point if s/he asks a customer to leave but not another customer.

TheBigJessie Fri 29-Mar-13 12:40:11

I wonder if the OP is English. British doesn't necessarily mean English!
In fact, OP is called Caledoniacalling.

whatever2 Fri 29-Mar-13 12:41:10

No need for her to be shouting at you and being rude, but you also should not have let your children stand on chairs - thats incredibly rude.

As someone else said you can always tell the brits abroad by the bad manners...

viktoria Fri 29-Mar-13 12:41:10

I am a foreigner in Britain. I have experienced comments in the UK like you have in the country where you are. It just proves that there are idiots in every country.
Try not to worry about it. I understand that it can make you feel very vulnerable - if somebody wants to say something hurtful to you it's easy - they can just use your nationality.
But ultimately you just have to try and stand above it. I always think, ok, I've experienced 2 minutes of this nasty person. He/she has to endure a lifetime with him/herself.

Caledoniacalling Fri 29-Mar-13 12:42:25

We are in Eastern Europe - and I have lived here for nearly 6 years. Afaik there is no religion/shoes thing (but I could be wrong).

Holly - What???

chibi Fri 29-Mar-13 12:45:48

sorry you were shouted at. i do wonder though, how come your language is still broken after 6 years?

i can't imagine anyone in the uk being so tolerant of someone who was not a fluent english speaker after this amount if time

EuroShaggleton Fri 29-Mar-13 12:48:47

YABU to let her stand on the chair but the woman was wrong to base her criticism on race.

Caledoniacalling Fri 29-Mar-13 12:54:01

Chibi that is a fair point. I am really not great at languages. I do generally have enough to get by but am not confident in a conversation with a stranger. Also, I work and socialise in an English speaking environment so that doesn't help. Shameful though.....but it is a whole new alphabet and everything! Really hard!

Hissy Fri 29-Mar-13 13:01:23

I used to get vile comments from local women all the time in Egypt. In the end I never went out, it simply wasn't worth it. I was there 3 years, am a natural linguist, but didn't learn the language, partly for this reason and partly cos Ex thought I was trying to spy on him the twunt.

I suggest you learn the phrase for 'Oh do fuck off dear' in the local language...

Or do the EnglishAbroad thing, great big smile, talk slowly and say the above in English anyway!



ModernToss Fri 29-Mar-13 13:05:40

What she said was rude and obnoxious. So was HollyBerryBush's remark.

ZZZenEggain Fri 29-Mar-13 13:17:52

I am in Eastern Europe too Caledonia. Usually small dc are treated really well where I am but mothers can be in for a telling off. Never heard any big drama about a small dc standing on a chair before. Some people are just twats. If you had been a local woman, she might still have had a go at you, she sounds unbelievably rude, just for the chance to spread misery around. Some people are like that. Since you were foreign, she had the added plus of telling you to get the hell out of her country. I don't think people get especially hung up about toddlers standing on wooden chairs. Not where I am anyway.

ZZZenEggain Fri 29-Mar-13 13:20:10

it is really easy not to learn the local language if your home language is English and your work is conducted in English. You are in the country but nowhere near being immersed. I have met a lot of people in different countries who haven't managed to learn the local language for those reasons. It is easy enough if you are immersed in it and have the time to attend lessons and study (and watch hours and hours of local tv), otherwise you often don't get there.

Mumsyblouse Fri 29-Mar-13 13:24:43

I think xenophobia is on the rise everywhere due to the recession/general feeling that the world is collapsing in. As we see here every day, it is easier to blame things on the foreigners and immigrants than look to ourselves or our leaders. This is the same in all countries across Europe. I think there is a general mood of intolerance (e.g. lots of people believe that it was actions by the British and US that have caused economic problems in their countries, by protecting their own interests as the dominant powers). They then project that on to you. Poor you, this is a horrible thing to have happened, I don't see what else you could have done than apologise and move off.

chibi Fri 29-Mar-13 13:37:49

i am really looking forward to the next inevitable thread on immigration to the uk- it would appear there will be many of the posters from this thread chipping in to rationalise immigrants not bothering to learn english fluently, not integrating with british people, or accepting/adhering to british customs and traditions

of course, i suppose the op isn't some nasty migrant, she's an expat

i am not rolling my eyes at you, OP, you don't deserve to be yelled at, but at some of the other posts.

like i said, i eagerly await the carnival of empathy on the next uk migration thread hmm

Jarca Fri 29-Mar-13 13:39:53

Ha, I guessed Easter Europe based on the first post. Rude and thinking that Anglo/American children are only spoilt - able to see it at the first sight of course. I'm sorry for that, rude people are everywhere.

And by the way, I'm Easter European in Easter Europe grin

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