I haven't felt a real sense of security since I lived in England. Many stories of hate crime were told since the day new students arrived. Don't walking alone after dark, the senior warned, and avoid contact with teenagers. In a small town like this, people are friendly and nice in general. However, according to general experience shared by students studying in UK, teenagers love to make fun of and pick on Asian people. I've heard of stories of being thrown by stones, beating, and attacking. Last year, a senior who we all know got attacked by a group of young kids, right in front of our busiest bus station at four o'clock (a very busy time), with her kid beside her.

I always say I miss the life in the States mainly because of this. I'm not saying that all Americans treat people of different races fairly, but at least everything has to be politically correct on the surface, so it's not allowed to discriminate overtly. It's a huge thing to be accused of discrimination. Peace should be maintained.

Recently I discovered a new route to school, which is a shortcut from my place and my department building. I worked till five today, and I was taking this shortcut home because I bought many heavy groceries with me. However, this route cuts into the middle of a huge park, which has no crowds at this time because it's a Saturday. When I walked into the park I felt a bit uneasy, because I saw quite a lot teenagers playing with skateboards. Damn it, I think, I forgot it's not a weekday today. I should have chosen another route. Well, the kids seem to have fun, maybe I have nothing to worry about. So I simply walked faster. The groceries were heavy anyway. The sooner I could get home, the better.

While I was thinking about dinner menu, walking through a tunnel, and passing by a group of three teenagers, I realized that someone was talking to me. "Excuse me?" I said.

"#$%^&!"

Those were dirty words, of course. I think to myself afterwards that it must have been a good laugh for people who listen to this story. Have you ever met a person who would say "pardon me" after you yell four-letter words to him/her? (Think in Taiwanese, especially. what a funny scene!!)

Anyway, I talked back and kept walking. They left me alone. However, I got scared after I came home. I shouldn't have done that--I was just lucky today that they didn't chase me up. I'm not sure it was a good time and place crying for help if I really got some trouble.

I don't understand how these teenagers become cautious, reserved, and polite British people in this society when they become adults.




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