A Week in Review: #6
Oh this week how I wished I was still in Lisbon!
I spent this past weekend back home in London as today is my dad’s birthday! My mum made food and we bought cake (that looked really nice.. I am NOT a cake eater!) and drinks and had a little mini party at church. After that we went home and my dad took me to the station so I could get on my train.
I am planning to get back into my routine from tomorrow. This means getting up at 4:30/5 am, gym at 6, breakfast at 7:30 and off to work by 7:50. Then I’ve got my full work day then off to the library from 5 until 9 to complete assignments, home for 9:30 pm, in bed for 10:15, sleeping by 10:30, and then start it all again the next day! I’ll let you know how that goes 🙂
Today, I have a story for you – something that happened to me during the week.
So after work one day I decided I needed to go to Leeds. I had a dress I needed altering and I needed to go to see the tailor. I did all that I needed to do – including a spot of shopping (as you do!) and headed back to the train station. It was quite a cold evening as usual. I had my hat on as well as a very heavy chunky knit scarf and my work coat which comes down to my knees! I am not built for the cold.. I’m a high temperature and sun sort of girl! So, I was walking towards the train station when I came across a guy who was selling The Big Issue. I didn’t have any change. I never usually walk around with money because if I did then I would be inclined to spend it. Anyway, I didn’t have any change. As I was passing him, he said “Please by a big issue so I can get myself a brew?” I turned to him in passing and said my usual “I don’t have any change, sorry.” He then said “Can you at least get me a brew? It’s freezing out here.” It indeed was freezing. I felt for the guy so I started looking for a place to see if I could get him something. Costa was closed as were 3 other coffee shops I passed. It was already past 8:00pm and I was starting to think that nothing would be open. I decided to give up and head towards my original destination – the train station – when I spotted a Subway that was still open. I smiled and walked in, waiting to be served. I bought a tea and a packet of cookies, grabbed some sugar, a stirrer and some little milk pot things. It was a balancing act trying to carry everything I was holding without dropping anything, but I managed to get out of Subway and started walking back in the direction of the man selling The Big Issue.
As I approached him and he turned towards me, I smiled and reached my arms out to give him the tea that I just bought. He was shaking his head. “No.” He said to me. I laughed. “Is that tea? Please don’t tell me that’s tea?”
“Yes it is” I responded.
“I don’t drink tea. I hate tea, I don’t drink tea.” He emphasised. “I wanted a coffee.”
Confused, I started responding “You asked for a brew..” trailing off as I replayed the conversation in my head.
“No, I asked for a coffee. I don’t drink tea, I hate tea.” He was almost hissing at me as he spoke now and surprisingly was actually foaming at the mouth in apparent disgust. “That’s why I asked you to buy a big issue so I can get myself a coffee. I don’t drink tea. You should have just bought a Big Issue” He said throwing his hands up.
He was clearly ticked off. I was not impressed. His attitude stunk. I’m sorry. I have been in Yorkshire for a good few years and I don’t believe I am stupid. He asked if I could buy him a brew and to me and every other Yorkshire man (and woman) that would mean a cup of tea. I am not crazy. He asked me for a cup of tea so I bought him what he asked for and thought I was being nice in doing so.
Anyway, long story short, he ended up taking the cookies from me, dismissing the tea, turning his back and walking away from me in a huff. Like I’d done something to him! I felt like I was red in the face!
I again started walking back towards the station doing my balancing act with the tea I was still holding as well as everything else. I still couldn’t quite process what happened and was admittedly a little confused and somewhat embarrassed by the situation. I didn’t want the tea. I cannot move and drink hot beverages. As clumsy as I am, some things would just be ridiculous to attempt. I got back to the junction of where I crossed to go to the Subway and waited to cross the road. As I approached the station, there was a man sitting on the ground by the taxi rank with his dog. I went straight to him. “I’m sorry” I said, “I don’t have any change, but I have this tea – would you like it?” The man looked up at me and I stretched the tea towards him.
“Yes, please?” He sounded unsure.
“I have milk and sugar if you would like it too?”
He looked up at me and said “Yes please!”
He stretched his hand out as I gave him the milk and sugar sachets I’d stuffed in my pocket and he started thanking me. Again and again. I told him it was fine and I had wanted to give it to someone else, but it didn’t work out.
As I walked away I told him to make sure he drank it and to try to find somewhere to stay warm. He kept thanking me as I walked away.
I could not help but think of the stark differences in what happened. Someone asked for something. After having being given what he was asked for, he turned his back on it, literally. Someone else, who asked for nothing, received something and was so grateful for it. I couldn’t give them money because I didn’t have any but I tried to help in another way. I was annoyed at the first man for being so rude but I soon forgot about it when I found someone who probably needed it more.
I haven’t told you this story to highlight how great I am – far from it. I usually walk past people asking for money all the time without responding or batting an eyelid sometimes – most times because I can’t really work out who is genuine and who isn’t. This time, I felt compelled to help someone and although it initially went pear-shaped, it turned out alright in the end.
In addition to all of the above – in all honesty – as annoyed as I was, that man was lucky he didn’t end up wearing the tea! It’s okay though.. All’s well that ends well and I think the ending was better than I imagined it would be 🙂
~ by originalapplejunkie on February 8, 2015.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tags: Annoyed, Asking, Assistance, Brew, Closed, Cold weather, Cookies, Costa, Embarrassed, help, Homelessness, Leeds, Lessons, Money, Receiving, Subway, Thankfulness, The Big Issue, Ungrateful, Yorkshire