I was on my way to work via the hairdressers on Monday when this happened:
Some young kid of about 16/17 just went out of his way to knock into me in the middle of the street and then use it as an excuse to start a fight with me.
I've always felt pretty safe in London. The only other times something like this has happened to me was 1) about two weeks after I first moved to London when two drunken idiots started on me and a housemate and 2) in October when some guy said something about my girlfriend and her friend in order to provoke a reaction from me. And obviously this could and has happened to me outside of London too. It could happen anywhere.
When it first happened I just ignored him and kept walking but when he started to follow me, I had to turn around and face him. Firstly I didn't want to get hit from behind and secondly I wanted to show him that I wasn't scared.
The thing is, I don't want to fight anyone. Especially someone who is both bigger and younger than am. However, forced to defend myself, I'm at least glad that I have my Krav Maga to fall back on. That said, he had three mates with him - who weren't interested and carried on walking also encouraging him to walk away - but if things had turned physical, there is no way I could defend myself against four young lads.
Now I don't know what his problem was? Maybe he was having a bad day or even a bad life? So i hold no ill will against him. One day he's probably going to grow up and I hope he resolves any issues that he has. Hopefully for him, that happens before he gets himself into trouble and ends up either in a prison cell or a hospital bed.
But - having gotten my little rant out and feeling a little better about the whole thing - I don't want to focus on this too much. If we focus on the negative actions of the few, we let the actions of the minority taint our opinion of the majority and I know first hand that there are many, many wonderful young people in this amazing city.