Waiting at the Airport

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Waiting at the Airport

Postby Sabina » Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:07 pm

One night there was a woman at the airport who had to wait for several hours before catching her next flight. While she waited she bought a book and a pack of biscuits to spend the time. She looked for a place to sit and waited.

She was deep into her book, when suddenly she realized that there was a young man sitting next to her who was stretching his hand, with no concern whatsoever, and grabbing the pack of cookies lying between them. He started to eat them one by one.

Not wanting to make a fuss about it she decided to ignore him. The woman, slightly bothered, ate the cookies and watched the clock, while the young and shameless thief of biscuits was also finishing them. The woman started to get really angry at this point and thought ‘If I wasn’t such a good and educated person, I would have given this daring man a black eye by now.’

Every time she ate a biscuit, he had one too. The dialogue between their eyes continued and when only one biscuit was left, she wondered what was he going to do. Softly and with a nervous smile, the young man grabbed the last biscuit and broke it in two. He offered one half to the woman while he ate the other half.

Briskly she took the biscuit and thought, ‘What an insolent man! How uneducated! He didn’t even thank me!’ She had never met anybody so fresh and sighed relieved to hear her flight announced. She grabbed her bags and went towards the boarding gate refusing to look back to where that insolent thief was seated.

After boarding the plane and nicely seated, she looked for her book which was nearly finished by now. While looking into her bag she was totally surprised to find her pack of biscuits nearly intact. ‘If my biscuits are here’, she thought feeling terribly, ‘those others were his and he tried to share them with me.’ Too late to apologize to the young man, she realized with pain, that it was her who had been insolent, uneducated and a thief, and not him.


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Think twice (or thrice) before you judge others.
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Re: Waiting at the Airport

Postby HGolightly » Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:11 pm

<3 [El]
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Re: Waiting at the Airport

Postby Jade » Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:34 pm

Too many problems and far too much bad blood over assumptions. People sometimes end even serious longterm relationships over assumptions without ever bothering with clarification.

Sad fact, but good story.
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    "A Jade stone is useless before it is processed;
    a man is good-for-nothing until he is educated."

    Chinese proverb
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Re: Waiting at the Airport

Postby ThePermster » Tue Oct 26, 2010 3:25 pm

Oh lordy who told that story? It's on the tip of my tongue and is gonna bug me all day if I don't remember.

For me as well, the fact that it's a real anecdote makes the tale oh so much more whimsical, I like to think about that untold counterpart story and wonder if there's a man walking around today who recollects the situation, happens to have heard the story and consequently tells to whoever will listen the final completing chapter that was his very own perspective on the situation. I wonder if it was at all similar to that of the original narrator's.
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Re: Waiting at the Airport

Postby mirjana » Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:05 pm

ThePermster wrote:Oh lordy who told that story? It's on the tip of my tongue and is gonna bug me all day if I don't remember.

For me as well, the fact that it's a real anecdote makes the tale oh so much more whimsical, I like to think about that untold counterpart story and wonder if there's a man walking around today who recollects the situation, happens to have heard the story and consequently tells to whoever will listen the final completing chapter that was his very own perspective on the situation. I wonder if it was at all similar to that of the original narrator's.


I understand this feeling when something is on the tip of the tongue bugging you around.
Try to let it go and it will come then.
But, I am wondering why is it important if the story is similar or not to that of the original narrator. Even if this is a personal perspective on the situation of this narrator, it is nice to be shared. Do you have any other perspective on the situation? What would be yours?
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Re: Waiting at the Airport

Postby ThePermster » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:16 pm

No importance, was just hoping someone might jog my memory. By the by I found out last night that it was Douglas Adams for anyone who was as curious as myself, good ol' Google knows all. =]
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Re: Waiting at the Airport

Postby Sabina » Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:45 am

[El] Very good.
Here it is...

Cookies
by Douglas Adams

This actually did happen to a real person, and the real person was me. I had gone to catch a train. This was April 1976, in Cambridge, U.K. I was a bit early for the train. I'd gotten the time of the train wrong.

I went to get myself a newspaper to do the crossword, and a cup of coffee and a packet of cookies. I went and sat at a table.

I want you to picture the scene. It's very important that you get this very clear in your mind.

Here's the table, newspaper, cup of coffee, packet of cookies. There's a guy sitting opposite me, perfectly ordinary-looking guy wearing a business suit, carrying a briefcase.

It didn't look like he was going to do anything weird. What he did was this: he suddenly leaned across, picked up the packet of cookies, tore it open, took one out, and ate it.

Now this, I have to say, is the sort of thing the British are very bad at dealing with. There's nothing in our background, upbringing, or education that teaches you how to deal with someone who in broad daylight has just stolen your cookies.

You know what would happen if this had been South Central Los Angeles. There would have very quickly been gunfire, helicopters coming in, CNN, you know. . . But in the end, I did what any red-blooded Englishman would do: I ignored it. And I stared at the newspaper, took a sip of coffee, tried to do a clue in the newspaper, couldn't do anything, and thought, what am I going to do?

In the end I thought, nothing for it, I'll just have to go for it, and I tried very hard not to notice the fact that the packet was already mysteriously opened. I took out a cookie for myself. I thought, that settled him. But it hadn't because a moment or two later he did it again. He took another cookie.

Having not mentioned it the first time, it was somehow even harder to raise the subject the second time around. "Excuse me, I couldn't help but notice . . ." I mean, it doesn't really work.

We went through the whole packet like this. When I say the whole packet, I mean there were only about eight cookies, but it felt like a lifetime. He took one, I took one, he took one, I took one. Finally, when we got to the end, he stood up and walked away.

Well, we exchanged meaningful looks, then he walked away, and I breathed a sigh of relief and sat back. A moment or two later the train was coming in, so I tossed back the rest of my coffee, stood up, picked up the newspaper, and underneath the newspaper were my cookies.

The thing I like particularly about this story is the sensation that somewhere in England there has been wandering around for the last quarter-century a perfectly ordinary guy who's had the same exact story, only he doesn't have the punch line.

(From "The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time" by Douglas Adams)
"Whether You believe you can, or you can't, you are right."
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