12 February 2007

Culture Clash?

I'd like to rant about how the university has screwed up my 2nd semester schedule, but I'm still clinging to a tiny hope that it'll get fixed. So instead, today I'm ranting about the homeless guys living in my stairwell.

You may remember this post about my heartlessness, when my neighbor called the cops for me because there was a homeless man sleeping in the stairwell right outside my apartment. I don't know if either of the men there now is the same as the one from before, or if these are two entirely new homeless guys.

At least one of them was there, sleeping, when I got home late on Saturday night. They were both there Sunday morning around 9am, smoking and chatting. They tried to talk to me, but I was grumpy about being up early on a Sunday, and made more grumpy by homeless guys in my stairwell, so I just told them I didn't speak Polish.

They were gone when I got home Sunday afternoon, but both were sound asleep when I left this morning. And one was still there & asleep when I got home this afternoon.

So here was my chance. It was too late on Saturday night to ask my neighbor for help, and I was in a hurry to leave both yesterday & today in the morning. But now I had some time, so I rang my neighbor's bell & told him there was a man sleeping in the stairwell again.

He didn't seem at all surprised, but came with me into the stairwell to look. He spoke with the guy & told him I was afraid of him because I'm American, not Polish. And he told me not to worry, because the guy's peaceful.

That was it. No call to the cops, no concern that someone's basically living in the stairwell of our building. Just, "Don't be afraid, he's peaceful. He has no home."

I'm sorry, I'm going to need some help from the Poles on this one. Is this a cultural thing? Because where I come from, it's NOT OK for someone to camp out in your stairwell, I don't care how cold it is outside. We've already established that I'm a heartless bitch, and I'm ok with that, but I really need to know why my neighbor isn't the least bit bothered by the situation!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is it because his heart is not as cold as yours? Naah! Guy's probably like all Poles reluctant to call cops for help and unlike you he might think the stairwell is not his/yours, it is nobody's. If you think calling cops better made up a story - you bitch - that they are loud at night, you saw them with needles and they made a mess at your door that you just had cleaned. ... Or! Change your attitude, bring some hot tea to bums and throw them some money for whatever they abuse.

elk said...

on the contrary, call whatever authorities necessary to throw the bums out!!!
you wouldn't put up with it on the paloose, and you shouldn't have to in poland - ther is no point in compromising your security...

Anonymous said...

hmm..maybe white american paranoi but I'd call the cops too...but then I am your standard (mostly) law abiding white american. It might be different if I weren't