After meeting with a temp agency in DC I got a breakfast sandwich at Potbelly’s and devoured half of the goodness in a park. Because it was so good, I could not resist eating the rest of it inside the metro station as I waited for my train to arrive.
A woman who was probably in her late 50’s and guessing from her accent, was originally from Eastern Europe sat down next to me. What I thought was going to be friendly small-talk about race and ethnicity turned out to be something near a citizen’s arrest. This is our conversation…
Crazy Lady: Can you eat in the metro in your country?
Me: (can I what in the what in what country?) — “Sorry, what did you say?”
CL: I said, can you EAT in the metro in YOUR country?
Me: This is my country.
CL: No, you were not born here.
Me: (with a puzzled look) Umm… yes, yes I was.
CL: You don’t look like it. Where are your roots?! Your roots!
Me: Ohh, Thailand.
CL: Don’t you know you cannot eat in the metro? They will put you in jail for that!
Me: Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t know. *quickly throws sandwich back in my bag*
CL: You say this is your country?! You don’t even know your roots! Amazing. *shakes head and rolls eyes*
Me: (I am out of here!) *stomps off*
Woman judged me! How rude, biotch!
1. What if I had no money and hadn’t eaten in days?
2. What if I were blind and didn’t see the No Food Allowed sign?
3. What if this was my first time riding on the metro?
It’s not relevant whether those what ifs are true or not because she didn’t know the answers to those questions.
Why was she assuming that I don’t know the rules simply because I wasn’t born here? So maybe this was about race and ethnicity.
I suppose my encounter was educational in a way — this is what I found from the wmata site:
Please don’t eat, drink, smoke or litter on Metro vehicles or in the stations. Metro Transit Police issue citations or make arrests to enforce the law.
Thanks CL. I don’t think I’m annoyed at her general message, more so the way she tried to chop my head off for it.