Micro Xenophobia

Or interpersonal barriers between us

Erik Fiala
Apr 4, 2017 · 3 min read

Let me introduce you to the story, that happened throughout the last weekend and had a significant impact on me and opened a huge question in my head about how we generally perceive strangers, and maybe why should we change it.

There was this moment of a kind of surprise, when me and four of my friends went to Papirøen (Copenhagen Street Food). By the way, really nice place to hang out and eat tasty food — if you’re a tourist, definitely visit that place.

We picked the shop, ordered our ‘’Double Fat Burgers’’ and even though we waited long time in the queue, it was totally worth it. :) Then we went out and found a quite tight place to sit, but still we were able to squeeze our five butts in there. We sat in front of two blonde women in their… maybe thirties, drinking mojitos. Why am I introducing them? I’ll get back to that later.

Started eating those big-ass burgers, guys were constantly laughing at me, because of the sauce was dripping all over my beard. 😃 Had fun, were making some hilarious Instagram Stories and so on.

Then at one moment, the women that sat in front of us left, and left their mojitos on the table. The mojitos were like half empty. Right after we finished our burgers, I didn’t even think about it, and I took one of the mojitos, turned the straw upside down and took a sip. And then it’s when it happened…

My friends started to tell me things like: ‘’Ewwww, why did you do that?’’, ‘’That’s gross!’’, ‘’What if you get sick?’’, and so on. I was pretty surprised; I’d even say shocked. The women were super-normal, why would I even think about it that way? I tried to ignore the things they were telling me simply because fundamentally, there was nothing wrong about what I did. Of course, mothers are telling us since we are little kids — don’t eat this, don’t eat that. They are our mothers though, and they don’t want their children to get sick or in the worst case die, so I cannot deny the fact that they are scared. Or there is this thought in our head: ‘’What if someone sees me doing it?’’. Whatever. Come on… Once we are grownups, we should be able to think our own head, and to break those unnecessary barriers, which our mothers, or others built in us, to make the world a better place. Maybe I am too utopic, but you choose how do you feel about this… I couldn’t stop thinking about that moment even until we came home and I went to sleep. It was still bugging me the next morning, so I decided to start writing this blog.

Yesterday, the day after I started writing, I was out with one of the friends that were there throughout the weekend. I was writing this blog in his presence and he asked me what is this blog going to be about, so I told him. Then we started to have this talk about what’s right, what’s wrong, and I asked him one single question regarding that moment they started to telling me all those things: ‘’What if that very girl I took a sip from, wanted to kiss you. Would you do it?’’. His answer was something like: ‘’Meh, I don’t know… maybe…’’, and I told him: ‘’You see? Why wouldn’t you drink from her mojito then.’’. He answered: ‘’But that’s a totally different scenario, because when kissing, you feel all those pheromones, and so on.’’ And he was right. Yes. But still, think of it this way — If we as friends do not have problem drinking from each other’s cup, the women that were sitting in front of us feel the same about each other. Why wouldn’t I drink from her mojito then? Why would I be scared? Mononucleosis? Very unlikely.

This experience of mine definitely opened a lot of questions in my head and I hope it did the same to you. Let me know in the comments below, what do you think about this particular scenario, how would you behave; or prove me wrong in my actions. Will appreciate all your inputs.

Also, it has been a long time since I published a blog post, because of my constant procrastination, but to be honest, I am not a huge fan of writing. I like to share my thoughts sometimes, so I will do it, when I feel like doing it. Hope you enjoyed this blog post. See you in the next one! 🙂


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