Friday, September 16, 2011

Awkward Encounters

Sharing a kitchen with a new bunch of strangers can be quite awkward. I'm not the most outgoing of people so apart from a friendly greeting I'm not going to be the one who initiates a conversation or whatever. From the people in the hallway I've encountered in the kitchen most are friendly and content to say "Hei" and go about their business in the kitchen while I do the same.
There is one exception. There's a middle-aged Middle-Eastern man who as some very odd behaviour. I have had three separate encounters with him and they've all been uncomfortable. The first was when I came out of my room to go to the kitchen and he paused and looked like he was going to change his mind and no longer enter the kitchen but he eventually did and I'm guessing that it was because there was another Middle-Eastern male in the kitchen talking loudly on the phone and I was in/out of the kitchen quickly just to grab something.
On a different day I was in the kitchen making a sandwich. He walked in the door, took two steps, apologized, and backed out. He had a shocked expression as if he walked in on me naked. I told him it was okay and he could come in and he just said he'd wait. So I finished up and left the kitchen and he was just out there waiting for me to leave. I went into my room and he went into the kitchen.
Tonight I had put a pot of potatoes on the oven to boil and left them for half an hour and he was sitting at the table eating when I went back to check on them. He didn't run out of the kitchen necessarily but packed up his stuff and wiped down the table hurriedly and left in under a minute, taking his food with him.
This sort of behaviour makes me feel uncomfortable. We all share the kitchen and have right to equal access and I have no problem sharing the space with him but he obviously does not feel the same. I'm assuming that he is Muslim and is uncomfortable being in a room alone with a female. It may be some entirely different reason but if it is then I cannot fathom it. If this is his reason then honestly it pisses me off. I refuse to be made to feel uncomfortable in my own space because some ignorant moron doesn't think that he should be subjected to my presence. I don't want to chase someone out of the shared kitchen but I am not doing anything wrong and so I do not believe that I should be inconvenienced.Of course, he's the one mainly being inconvenienced because I have no problem being around him; he's the one who feels the need to leave. He has an issue with me that I cannot help and it is a fundamental problem due to his misogynistic religion.
It will be interesting to see how this develops. Despite a desire to confront him over this I'm not going to. It feels inevitable that he'll eventually get tired of avoiding the kitchen if I (or I'm guessing the other females on the floor) am in the kitchen. I'm not going to say anything but I wonder if he will. We'll see. If he's planning on living in Norway he's simply going to have to get over this ridiculousness and communicate with Western females who aren't content to hide under a veil and accept his superiority. He's going to have to get over himself or fuck off.

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