The Day I Was Threatened for Eating What I Want
Krakow, Poland – 21st of November 2020.
My day started like any other day when I’m on holiday.
I woke up and left the hostel to go buy my breakfast.
In Poland, I am used to eating 4 patty burgers with pork and 6 egg yolks, or 600 grams of fresh pork belly that I go buy at the farmers market.
The butcher always tries to sell me the carcass, and I always answer laughing that I want some thin slices.
It’s nice. I like Poland. The meat here is amazing!
Since I had decided to visit Krakow this weekend, I went to the supermarket and bought my patty burgers, pork, and eggs. I came back to the hostel and entered the kitchen.
One man was sitting at the window. Approximately 180cm, he had white-colored hair and rectangular glasses. Probably in his mid-50s. Polish.
I said hi, but he didn’t answer. Whatever.
I started taking the meat out of my bag (I had bought approximately 2 kg) and took a pen to write my name on it.
The man started to talk.
“Don’t worry about writing your name, no one is going to eat your meat, he said with an angry voice.
– Why, I answered amused.
– Polish people don’t eat meat.
– But why? Are they all vegans?
– Because we don’t like to kill.
I burst into laughter. That really angered the man.
– Don’t laugh!! DON’T LAUGH, IT’S NOT FUNNY.
– Wow, chill out dude, is it illegal to eat meat here? I don’t think so, so chill ok, I eat whatever I want.
He became silent. For the subsequent 30 minutes, I cooked and ate my meat, under his insistent gaze.
After I finished, I washed my dishes and packed my stuff. When I crossed the doorstep, I heard someone yelling behind me.
“Hey, Simply Red? SIMPLY RED!
I turned back.
– How did you call me?
– Simply Red, listen to me. I am in my country, I can do whatever the f*** I want. You can do whatever the f*** you want in your own country, so f*** off, ok? I never want to see you again. I swear, I will kill you. I never want to see you again here.”
He subsequently moved to the kitchen drawer, opened it, and faked taking a knife. He pointed it at me. “I will take a knife, and I kill you, I swear”, he insisted.
As I was leaving for the reception desk, he kept on screaming profanities.
On the ground floor, I asked to speak to the manager and described what had happened. Fortunately, there were cameras, so she got the chance to see everything. I was impressed to observe how calm I had remained on video.
The manager saw there clearly was a problem and immediately told me “I will kick him out now, don’t worry”.
They subsequently blacklisted the man so that he doesn’t return to the hostel.
I spent the rest of the day walking through Krakow, trying to process what had happened to me. I was shaken. I had lived in dangerous places before and had had heated arguments and debates with many people. Yet, never anyone had threatened to kill me. Hell, never anyone had threatened to kill me for eating what I want and need.
This event spurred a bunch of thoughts about education, tolerance, and the need to learn Krav Maga.
When I came back to the hostel, the manager apologized.
I answered it wasn’t her fault.
And that is the true story of how a vegan threatened to kill me because I was eating meat.