I've been walking the streets of sort of unfriendly SF for many, many years now. (No, not in that way, I just realized how stupid that sounded.) The friendliness of people is hit or miss. You just never know. And the same goes for me too. When I'm in a rush, you best get out of my way. This usually occurs when I'm going home because I have only so many minutes to get to the train station and get on my train, and what is waiting for me at the end of my train trip is my little boy, and of course I want to get there as fast as I can, so no, I don't want to stop and answer your stupid question about where the SFMOMA is.
So yeah, I can be a tad unfriendly at times.
However, other times, when I'm not in a rush, and I'm oh, about 50 minutes early to my 9 AM class, I am friendly.
I was walking down the street to the class location when I got to a corner that was already crowded with people waiting for the light to change (or waiting for a patch between cars so they can frogger it across the street, a sport I do not partake in). Some poor girl was trying to get through the crowd, and if I stepped forward to join them, she wouldn't have been able to get through.
So I stopped.
About 5 seconds later, someone hit me in the back. And I swear, while my normal reaction is to get really angry and turn around and swear (sorry, mom, I still haven't learned my lesson), for some reason I thought, this must be someone I know who is hitting me because it's just odd anyone would hit me. It really felt like the sort of hit you'd do to get some one's attention.
I slowly turned around to see who felt the need to hit me in the back. An older woman was standing behind me with a complete look of fear and embarrassment. I would go so far as saying she was shaking slightly. I'm not threatening from behind, by any means, but I guess she might not walk around SF too often and it can be a bit much at times because everyone is in his/her own world.
When I noticed how freaked out she was, I smiled. I couldn't help be smile. Because normally people are so jerky, they don't even recognize what they've done.
She apologized to me and said she didn't expect me to stop.
(I didn't expect someone to be trailing me that closely, but that's okay....)
I laughed and said it was okay. I told her I didn't think anyone was really hitting me, and that I was just ran into.
She said again that she didn't expect me to stop.
I laughed again and said that she woke me up, at least. Because work, school, kid, husband, life, home, cats, reading, etc. are all making me really tired, and I had just woken up from a nice snooze on the train.
So. What did I learn today? Don't stop suddenly unless you want some lady to hit you in the back. What did she learn? Hopefully not to follow people that closely, and that people aren't all that mean. And I guess I learned I'm not all that mean either. But then, I wasn't going home. If I was going home, the situation could have possibly turned out differently.