This happened when I was in my junior year of college. My university offered a day trip for a whale watch about an hour from campus at a discount. My 3 roommates and I thought it would be fun to get away for a day and joined in. It was a rainy brisk fall day with a full boat on the ocean in Boston. The inside of the boat had booths to sit at and keep warm, but you could not see the whales from there. So, being that we were there to see whales, we stuck it outside for the majority of the trip. It paid off, we had great viewings and it was a blast.
By the time the boat was heading back, we were really cold from being outside in the rain for hours, so we decided to sit inside for the trip back. We went inside and found an empty booth. None of the seats were assigned and it was first come first served. It was a large booth that could fit 8 adults. After about a half hour, a woman comes up with her daughter and stares at us, obviously annoyed. We don’t know her, and let it be and continue chatting. She starts clearing her throat, and one of my roommates looks at her and thinks she is looking to see if she can join our table. The woman says (in a heavy accent – I know what nationality she is but don’t think it is a factor in the story), “This is OUR table, you need to move”. My roommates and I look confused, as there was nobody there when we sat, and nothing is assigned. One of my roommates replied “I’m sorry, but the seats are not assigned. There is more than enough room though, so go ahead and sit with us if you’d like.” This did not do. She was very upset and pointed at 3 other people, presumably her family. “This is OUR table, we had it on the way out, you need to leave.”
I at this point was really annoyed, why are we to not have a chance to sit? We were cold too and were very willing to share. I mentioned “There was nobody here and the table was empty so it means it is available for us to sit. I’m sorry, you can sit with us but we are cold and tired and need to warm up.” She points at an empty soda bottle on the table and proceeds to tell us they left that there to “claim” the table and therefor it was theirs and we must leave. We explained that the bottle told us nothing other than someone was not courteous enough to clean up after themselves.
Seeing that we were not leaving, the family members sat in the booth with us and proceeded to give us the death stare. It was very uncomfortable and silent for a few minutes, and one of my roommates was just saying under her breath “lets leave”. I was ready to as well – it was not worth ruining a fun trip by arguing with strangers, but then the father of the family looks at us and says very loudly, “This is OUR table. We had it and left to look at the whales and came back and you STOLE it. You are VERY RUDE AMERICANS and obviously have ZERO EDUCATION. No wonder why Americans are viewed as rude and stupid. You are typical stupid Americans.”I think all 4 of our jaws were hanging to the floor. Seriously? One of my roommates who is very sweet and usually very reserved lost it at this point. “YOU are rude for not willing to share when there are obviously not enough seats for everyone on the boat but we clearly all fit in this booth. We are here on a trip with our college, and are getting a wonderful education. If you view Americans so lowly, I suggest you vacation in another country. I’d rather sit out in the cold than to be insulted by someone who knows nothing about me.” And got up and left. We followed. I hate that the family may have felt as thought they “won”, but the fact they insulted 90% of the people sitting around them by calling all Americans rude and stupid was good enough for me. When we left to go sit outside, the staring from everyone around was at them, not us. 0125-11