Today was my daughter's third birthday. We couldn't really celebrate it in an ideal sense, as both my wife and I had work commitments. We did, however, take Ahleena to an amusement park yesterday in Hsinchu, called Liu Fu Chun. It had a lot of kiddie rides, an African safari and junk food which she enjoyed. We've both got tomorrow off work as well; we'll take her to her first movie.
Tonight, on her actual birthday, I took her over to the Taipei Youth Park (青年公園), which is five minutes from my apartment in Monga (艋舺), Taipei. It should have been just like any other evening - we go there every night that it is not raining. When we arrived however we faced a certain turn of events. After putting Ahleena on the swing, which she loves, I noticed an old bike laying in the playground. Worried that she, or one of the other children, could get hurt on it, I picked it up and propped it against a tree. A couple minutes later, I was confronted by a scowling teenager in a black muscle T-shirt. He asked me if "I wanted to die," pointing at the bike, which I quickly understood was his. Feeling an old twinge, I said, recognizing something familiar building up inside and my own muscles tightening:
"OK, sure. Is it you that's doing the killing? Let's go." Pulling back, he said he was only joking and patted me on the arm with a calculated grin. Then he went scurrying back to his friends. But I could hear him saying things. Actually, I just thought he was playing around, so I shot back, taking a piss but in a friendly way, like what on earth did five young guys want to hang out in the park for, with no women, etc. Soon he was over in my face again, with his bike, kind of jammed up against the swing set so that we couldn't swing comfortably. He said: "Do you and your 'son' want to die" in English. And then, for some reason, "Here's my bike. Fix it!" My daughter was crying, so I pulled her off the swing and we left the park. As we were going by, he reissued the threats about killing us. In all honesty, I wanted to rip his snotty self some new holes, but decided to let it go. But not really. If I had been on my own, I would have gotten in his face directly. It really got under my skin, but I opted for the police station around the corner.
When I explained the situation to the police, they said, "Do you have anyone to vouch for you?"
"What are you talking about?" I asked. "They're just teenagers. Just go over there and give them the boot."
"OK, sure. But next time you have to tape it." A friendly officer pulled out his iPhone and showed me how to record.
Five minutes later, a different cop, pulled in off scooter duty, my daughter and I were back in the park. When we located the teenagers who had threatened my daughter, the officer went after the first black-shirted one he could find. The actual culprit was hanging low, so the officer wrongly charged pretty much the whole gang before landing on the right guy. When I did manage to point him out, the teenager became belligerent. Not that he was arguing my accusations, but rather because he didn't think the cops should be questioning him. He paced around the playground and refused to stand still or make eye contact. He even swatted at them and grew agitated. But the policeman was having no part of his crap, and got right in his face. "Why do you harrass people?" he wanted to know. "What are you doing here? Are you simply bored? Look at you, five teenagers and all."
"He's a 'foreigner,'" was the reply. "I just wanted to know him."
At this point, I came in. "Just take it easy. And don't threaten my daughter. That's all I care about. I came here to play with her, not you. I don't care about you. That's the truth."
Why on earth would I give a f*&^ about them? Why would they imagine that I had come to the park for other reasons?
What a sad joke of mess it is when I have got dicks like this threatening my daughter, on her birthday, or otherwise. And for what?