Being In A Wrong Place

Image by Frauke Riether from Pixabay

I have nothing to write about today or yesterday, but I just talked with one of my friends over the phone, who told me to be careful and to avoid going to the wrong places. Everybody is armed with guns nowadays (except me) and being in a wrong place can get one shot. It happened last week that a teenage boy who wanted to pick up his sister from a friend’s home. He pressed the door bell of the wrong house, and ended up getting shot; a girl got shot riding in a car, which turned onto a wrong driveway; two cheerleaders got into the wrong car, mistaking it for the car of their friend who came to pick them up, and they got shot at and injured.

I’ve heard of two “wrong place” stories. The first wrong place story is about Yoshihiro Hattori, a 16-year-old Japanese exchange student. I think everybody who lived and breathed in America or in Asia in 1992 heard of this story. He was living with his host family in Louisiana. He and his host brother went to attend a party, but they arrived at the wrong house. The home owner thought Yoshihiro was an intruder, and opened fire.

Another story I heard was about a freshman female student of Columbia University. She was an Asian and just arrived on campus from overseas. It was the first week that she lived in the dormitory. At early morning hours, she went to the bathroom, which was shared between several different dorm rooms. When she came back, she entered the wrong room. And the rightful resident of the room screamed at the intruder. The Asian girl immediately realized her mistake and she quit the room without apologizing. Not long after, police came in and arrested the Asian girl for trespassing. Since this was a digital age, news spread in the Asian community right away, but to everybody’s relief, the girl was released soon afterwards and the charge was dropped.

Although we are only 35 miles from New York City, we are not living in a melting pot. I think we are living in a bento box, which by definition is a “multi-compartment box used for containing the different courses of a usually Japanese lunch.” Each of us lives in his or her own community. However it sometimes happens that one just unwittingly crosses the line and goes beyond one’s own territory (whatever that means).

I have to say there were several times that I found myself in a wrong place, but those were such uneventful incidents that it would be boring to talk about them. However since I have nothing to talk about, I will talk about one of them, which was at a local pharmacy located on Route 27. It was not a chain pharmacy like Rite Aid or Walgreen. I stepped in once since I was waiting for my friend who’s getting a haircut at the hair salon in the same strip mall. And this particular hair salon didn’t have a good ventilation system, which meant that the smell (from various chemicals to torture our hair into desired shapes) lingered in the store–it was very pungent and unpleasant. So I stepped outside and found this pharmacy store nearby. However I soon found that the two shop assistants (probably the owner and the assistant) eyed me strangely. I wandered from aisle to aisle, pretending to be interested in things on the shelves. There were no other customers. Then suddenly, I realized that I was at the wrong place since Asians would never come to this store. This was why they looked at me strangely since they knew this place was not for me and I would not buy anything from them. I made a quick exit. I guess as primates, we can all sense the vibes of our environment. If we are unwelcome in a place, we can always sense it even if it is not explicitly expressed.

22 thoughts on “Being In A Wrong Place

      1. I blame the media, mainstream and otherwise. The media loves to create an atmosphere of fear. Fear the blacks, the gays, the trans, immigrants, Democrats, Republicans, the government, and so on. It’s a sad state of affairs.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I took the wrong bus and ended up in the middle of nowhere once but it was Canada and people are so nice I was on a bus to the right place in no time lol. It’s sad though that people can lose their lives simply by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, you reminded me once I took the wrong bus too. It was the school bus of the university, and I had to wait for the next bus. LOL. And you are right that people can lose a lot in a fraction of a second. I heard stories of people who tried to escape the advancing enemy army during WWII. People lost their belongings, jewelry, or even their children in the mad dash towards safety.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mine was my university bus too. Lol, I guess we’ve both had these experiences.

        True, when the situation is bad all that people care about is survival and it makes them act in a rash manner.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Haha, me too. School bus can be so confusing. LOL. For a long time, I thought the world has passed the era of fighting for survival. You know it is a modern world with a lot of modern amenities and technologies etc. However just think about the global warming and all the new conflicts and instability. Probably the old uncertainty is coming back a little bit.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, what an intriguing story. Although I don’t have similar experiences, I think I was born in a wrong family and couldn’t get out soon enough. I should be born in a loving and supportive Mongolian nomad family who loves literature and raises goats and camels.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Being British, I find it hard to believe that carrying a gun makes ANYONE safer. AS for being in the wrong place, I am so seldom in the right one that I have to assume that, for me, the wrong place is the right one…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are absolutely right since carrying a gun is very dangerous. You know there are people who shoot at each other while fighting for parking spots in NYC. And in NYC, a parking spot worth a lot…

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, there are shooting in a parking lot in a strip mall or on the side of a street. I’ve heard it so often that I don’t feel it is a thing anymore.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s why you need to know your way around where you go and be vigilant. Some things are inevitable, but some things aren’t. I know when I’m around, I have to make sure I don’t look ominous and focus on where I’m supposed to go and hope that the person driving me isn’t going into neighborhoods we don’t belong.

    That, or you can get a license to carry and take gun lessons and self defense classes.🤷🏾

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I used to be quite adventuresome on my jogs, poking around to distract me from the monotony of running. But I have changed my roving habits since it does seem more dangerous to be out of place these days.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, yes, please be careful since you never know what might happen. I guess you would bring your dog with you while jogging. At least that’s a company. I used to do morning jogging in the neighborhood, but I have stopped that since the pandemic started.

      Liked by 1 person

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