I would give everything away. I would help everyone for free. And I would end up under a bridge, penniless, and, ironically, entirely friendless, and spat on by cocky teenagers.
Sometimes my loving nature stills wins against all that I have painfully been taught in the system we have created and I am kind, just spontaneously, perhaps even overly kind.
I’ve just got out of a big money making place where I teach languages to further facilitate the money making, and at a tram stop I spot a retired couple. They are clearly a little lost.
So I make eye contact and the very cheerful looking man asks if I speak English.
It turns out they have to go to a hotel that ‘s located 200 meters from my doorstep. Am heading back home anyway, so I offer to guide them all the way there, all they need to do is follow me.
He’s a retired electrician and she worked in real estate or property law.
We need to take two trams, and we will spend about 45 minutes together.
They are from Liverpool. ‘Oh, the Beatles and the Mersey’, I say.
Eric’s eyes light up, he worked at the Cavern when the Beatles played there.
They are interested in history, so I tell them what little I know about Bratislava, the Slovak national uprising, and the mess communism created here. A lot of it you can find in the interview with Erik Mut, elsewhere on this website.
They are both enthusiastic and eager to learn more. Especially the husband tells me about his life, his father’s experiences during world war two, and even how hard they had to struggle to buy a place of their own when they were young.
I advice them to try out a great Indian restaurant that’s close to their hotel, and a Chinese restaurant, and I tell them where the most useful shops are located.
Eric is particularly interested in the Indian restaurant. It’s a bit tricky to find, so, me in all my evolutionary unadapted spontaneous kindness, offer to walk them there later today, since I don’t have anymore classes.
Eric seems fine with this offer, but ow, his wife falls silent, stays behind and doesn’t talk to me anymore. I can almost feel what she is thinking. This guy is being too nice, he will swindle us, rob us, or do something nasty to us. Nobody is ever this kind just like that.
When we reach the hotel, she wants to get rid of me and says the most dismissive thing you can say in the English language: ‘bye bye now’.
‘Bye bye now’ means: you are making me feel awkward, this conversation should have ended ages ago.
To her probable disgust, her husband offers to go and eat Chinese with them, or to go back to the center later. I feel she’s very much against this, so I don’t accept nor decline. I just leave Eric my number and email address,
I feel Eric and I could have talked for hours about many different things, but unfortunately his wife thought I would want to get something out of it, which I did not.
Perhaps she just wanted to be alone with her husband, that’s also possible.
I tried hard to think: ‘you did a nice thing, what they make of it, is up to them’.
But I also got the feeling I had sinned against some unwritten law. The law that says it’s weird to be so kind to total strangers without expecting anything in return.
I get that feeling a lot, since I did not keep up with evolution, I am an evolutionary rarity, and am too open to contact with others. My genes will be phased out eventually, in favor of the robotic, money producing genes.
Until then I will often get the feeling:
I fought the law
and the law won.