August 2015, my local bus stop
Elderly Man: You write for Metro Eireann, don’t you?
Me: (Thinking ‘great, here’s someone who enjoys my articles’) Yes.
EM: They pay you?
EM: You pay them?
EM: So why (do you write for them)?
Me: Oh, it’s a newspaper read by many migrants and members of ethnic minorities; I enjoy writing for it on a voluntary basis.
EM: Oh yes? Who owns Metro Eireann?
Me: Chinedu Onyejelem… (EM puzzled)… A Nigerian journalist and entrepreneur.
EM: Oh, entrepreneur, is he? He makes money out of ME then, doesn’t he?
Me: Not much…
EM: How much?
Me: (Beginning to loathe this conversation) I don’t know, and I don’t care… and anyway, what is it, a police interrogation?
EM: Oh no, but we live in a country where we speak English… You said ‘not much’, so you must know how much he makes…
Me: (getting truly pissed off) Would you excuse me (turning my back on him but remaining on my spot)
EM: (keeps silent for a while… then comes after me) You Jewish?
I remain silent.
EM: You Jewish, aren’t you?
I take a photo of him on my IPhone.
EM: Why are you taking my picture? What are you going to do with it? Report me to the police?
Me: Oh no, you have done nothing wrong… apart from being a pest…
EM: So I am a pest now, am I? Am I a pest now? (by which stage I have moved away from him, but he continues to stare at me; when I ignore him, he buries his face in a newspaper, but seems to go on mumbling to himself)