The urban interface

Living in Halifax is living in a small city, without many big city weirdnesses I’ve experienced in places like LA and Boston.  People generally behave toward strangers with manners their mothers would find acceptable, if not laudable.  But when they run off the rails, they seem to do it as a group effort….

This evening, while waiting for a bus in a quiet neighbourhood, with one other potential passenger, I was consulting my email and trying to catch up on missives sent during the black out period I had experienced (electronically) during the hours before.  A nicely dressed, well coiffed young woman (30? 35 at most?) stepped up beside me and started chatting ceaselessly;  about flying ants, about whether the number 2 or the number 81 would get to the stop next, how many number 2 buses had followed how many number 4’s during her wait, etc.  I grunted for a bit and then became distracted by my mail and fell silent.

So she slugged me.  Hard.  On the upper arm.  Hard enough to send me reeling back a step.

“Hey!” I said, surprised and not very articulately.

“Jesus!” she said.  “Oh, sorry for my langauge.  But you should thank me for protecting you from infection and disease.”


Happily, the 81 arrived and she wanted the 2 so I escaped.

And got to my home block to find a waifish young woman lurking on my doorstep.  She skittered away as I approached, only to be replaced by a strapping young man with pad of paper in hand.  He pushed in front of me, mounted the steps and rang the doorbell.

“Excuse me?” I said from the sidewalk.  “I live here.  Can I help you?”

At the same time, Bob opened the door in response to the ring.  The three of us stared at each other and then the young man announced that he was there to interview whichever of us was game.  About the street dig.

I left Bob to it.  Not anxious to have any more close encounters with rogue Haligonians tonight.


2 Responses to “The urban interface”

  1. Kay Says:

    Was she violently swatting a mosquito off of you ?

  2. halifaxing Says:

    That would have been a good logical explanation–except I haven’t seen any mosquitoes around here for about a month and this particular bus stop was in a concrete-rich, pond-poor neighbourhood.

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