Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Tram attack

Met with my friend Caner last night - we meet weekly for a language exchange. Ususally we just walk around the island for two hours chatting (mainly in French, so lord knows what he gets out of it) before he gets on the tram to go home.

Last night, as we were approaching Homme de fer ("Iron Man" - the main tram station on the island) Caner slowed down, looking ahead with great concetration. A couple of 20-somethings in track suits were shoving each other around on the station platform. Lacking any sense of what they were saying (the slang of wannabe-gangster French youth is utterly beyond my ken) I didn't think anything of it - it looked exactly like the kind of confrontation where Jerk A pushes Jerk B, Jerk B pushes back, and then Jerk A goes in for the kill just slowly enough to allow his friends to hold him back, insults are exchanged and the party breaks up.

Not this time. This time, Jerk A punched Jerk B in the face, hard enough that he went down hard and didn't get back up quickly enough to prevent Jerk A from kicking Jerk B at least twice while he was down, once in the side of his head. Jerk A and his friends then walked away, completely unmolested.

Caner and I were too far away to do anything - it was all over by the time I realized what was going on. No one on the platform intervened, save for a couple of the guys friends who eventually helped him up. Caner and I arrived at the station in time to hear him refuse to deal with the "flics" (police) or even an ambulance (which it really looked like he needed).

Anyway, I was quite upset by the whole thing. There's nothing like seeing a prone man get kicked in the face in full view of 50-odd immobile people to shake your faith in human decency.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That story made me sad. Violence has that effect. (Tara)