The other day in Beijing I saw something I thought was incredible. Maybe some here will think the same:

A friend and I turned a corner. We saw a young man waving a wooden crutch in the air, wearing a huge grin and loudly mocking a man with one leg. The one legged man seemed to be looking around for help, but many people passed by. I have never seen such shameless mocking of a disabled person. There was no regret, nothing, it didn’t even seem abnormal to others on the street. It was very disturbing and painful to see.

I couldn’t stand and watch. I walked slowly up to this guy (smaller than me, and definitely alone) and tried to take the crutch. Obviously he was taken aback, but he wouldn’t let go! The one legged man seemed grateful for my trying to help, but that idiot continued to tease him, hopping up and down the street and waving the crutch in his face, yelling abuse. There seemed to be nothing which could stop him. We stood, aghast.

The man danced forwards, waving the crutch and screaming something along the lines of ‘Come and get it!’ and some horrible insults. Closer and closer he skipped, the one legged guy getting angrier and angrier as we watched. They were barely two metres from each other. The one legged guy swung his arms forward. The remaining crutch sliced through the air and there was an almighty CRUNCH. The young man was slammed to the ground by pure brute strength. The one legged man grabbed his crutch from the ground, and continued on his journey without a second glance.

Sometimes you just have to learn how to defend yourself.


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