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A Clash Of Cultures – It’s Never What You Think

I was sitting in the mall the other night, having dinner, going about my business as I tend to do. The mall is a great place to people watch, mostly because it’s a place where people don’t think they will be watched. I saw a group of ladies walk past, half empty bottle of champagne in hand, talking, laughing, enjoying themselves. It was a Saturday night after all and that’s what life is all about, enjoying yourself, right? I didn’t have an issue with this at all, I mean I have been known in the past to cuddle a six pack like a baby koala as I head towards my destination, but  what I did have an issue with however, is their blatantly pretentious rudeness and sly comments made towards another individual. Another person. Another human being.

Just as they decided to ditch their half a bottle of champagne, a homeless man, who is quite known about town, was reaching into the bin to find something to eat. It wasn’t the clashing of cultures that bothered me, it was the way the women decided to handle the situation. There was laughing and snickering and they even went as far as to say; “I can’t believe he’s going to eat that”. And no, before y’all jump on your high horse, these women were middle aged, fully grown ‘adults’ not the youths with a power trip to prove.  I was honestly that appalled that I didn’t know what to say or do, except watch the man go about his business and ignore the women.

There is a man that lives down the street from me, he sleeps outside on the stoop. Every single morning, he waves politely, and says that he hopes I have a good day, and every single morning I wish him the same back. I’m not sure what he does, I don’t even know his name, all I know is, this basic human interaction is a universal engagement. I’m a person of strict routine, so what I also know, is that when I walk past the same group of people dressed in suits waiting for their coffee, I’m invisible, and I always find myself asking – why is that? And, when we have more, do we lose more?

I think at times we all forget that we as people, are more than what we do for a living, or the clothes on our back, or the company we keep. That underneath all of the superficial bullshit, the core of who we are, is what really matters. So what do you look for, when you walk down the street? And what do you think people see, when they look at you ?

Written by Laura Kebby

I write words about talented people doing talented things, and translate chatter by putting pen to paper.


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  1. Good read. There are so many people around Newcastle that think they are better then you. I grew up in Newcastle & lived O. S. for 15 years. I can walk down the street & recognize someone I know & they can’t even smile or say hello back(even if they don’t remember me).

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