I almost had a bad scene at the docks when we came back to port. Everyone knows docklands are rough places, but I never had any trouble with anyone until this weekend. I was walking down the docks at dusk carrying my duffel bag as I headed home for the weekend.
Two men walked up to me and asked me for a light. When I replied I didn't smoke, they started asking what I had in the bag. Told them none of their business and kept walking. They started circling around me as I walked and making threats about taking the bag and having a look themselves. I just kept walking being sure to keep me eye on both of them. I thought if I just keep walking, they'll get tired of following me. But one of them stood directly in my way and the other one blocked me on the side. At this point I decided it was time to be ready to defend myself, so I took a step back and sat the bag down between my legs. Now looking back I was surprised how calm I was. My heart was racing with adrenaline, but my mind stayed clear. I was actually thinking to myself that I hope the martial arts training was about to pay off or I was seriously going to demand my money back.
By this time they're dancing around me, shouting as loud as they can, and taunting me. I took my fighting stance and was deciding which one I was going to take out first when they suddenly backed off and started walking away swearing. I noticed they were looking over my shoulder. When I turned to see what they were looking at, I noticed two of the local homeless guys that I've befriended over the months, walking fast towards me. So my brief moment of thinking my manliness scared them off soon crashed and burned when I realized they left because they were out numbered.
I waited awhile to post this until I told Gareth because I knew he would overreact....and he did! I'll be more careful now and Gareth made me agree to get rides and not walk home alone for awhile. But I'm not going to let some punks ruin my love of the docks. Besides I found out this weekend that the guys I've slipped some money too, shared breakfast and some whiskey with, are willing to look out for me too. That's what friends do. Even though I never considered them my "friends" before, I guess looking at it now, we have crossed a line and we've formed a friendship. It pays to be kind to people, because you never know when someone will be there for you and repay you with kindness.