If Allah Himself Came Down

Kunk Fu Zoby Kung Fu Zu9/7/15
Budapest is a beautiful city partitioned by the Danube, which flows through its center. Along with Vienna and Prague, Budapest is considered a quintessential Hapsburg city. All three were, for centuries, under Hapsburg rule and the style and ambience of each is heavily influenced by this historical fact.

In July of 1988, I was visiting Budapest with my wife and parents. After a stay in Vienna, we had taken a boat down the Danube to see the sights. Although Hungary was still controlled by the Communist Party, travel restrictions had been eased and the slow motion collapse of the “East Block”, which culminated in the fall of the Soviet Union, was already under way. But that is another story.

After two or three days in Budapest, we planned to return to Vienna by rail and continue our journey through Europe. I had previously been to Budapest and knew that there were only one or two air-conditioned railway wagons on each train departing Budapest for Vienna. The seats in those wagons were at a premium and had to be reserved.  Therefore, to be safe, we went to the train station immediately we arrived in Budapest and purchased our return tickets. Once we had these in hand, we went about enjoying our short stay in the city.

On the morning of our departure date, we made our way to the train station and arrived there with time to spare. We proceeded to the platform from which our train was to depart, and strolled down the walkway looking for our railway car. As it was already hot, we were relieved to quickly find that wagon and enjoy the cool air inside.

The railcar was already almost full. Clearly, it had been wise to reserve our places and not buy them at the last minute. Unfortunately, when we found our seats, there was a Middle Eastern couple in two of them. Both man and woman were very well dressed in apparel which might have been purchased in any of a number of up-market stores one could find in Paris, Rome or London.

So as to be sure I was not mistaken, I double checked the numbers on the rack above the seats and reconfirmed they were the same as those on our tickets.

It is not uncommon for people to misread their tickets when traveling. Believing this to be the case, I turned to the man and the subsequent exchange ensued:  (I ask the reader to try and imagine yourself in this situation.)

KFZ: “Excuse me sir, I believe you are sitting in our seats.”

Arab: “I do not think so. These are the seats numbers on our tickets.”

KFZ: Showing my party’s tickets. “There must be some mistake. As you can see, these are tickets for the seats you are sitting in.”

Arab: “That cannot be.” He waves some tickets at me. “See, our tickets have these two seat numbers.”

KFZ: As I hold my hand out to take his tickets, “May I see your tickets please?”

Arab: Reluctantly passes tickets to me.

KFZ: After a quick perusal of Arab’s tickets. “Ah, I see the problem. It is true you have the same seat numbers as we do, but yours are for car no. 3 not no. 4, which is the car we are in. All you have to do is move to the next car.”

Arab: Taking back his tickets and looking somewhat sour. Silence.

KFZ: As I place some luggage on the rack above our seats I ask, “May we have our seats now?”

Arab: Stands up and says, somewhat pompously, “I am a lawyer for the Saudi Arabian government and must be in Vienna tomorrow for a very important meeting.”

KFZ: Beginning to become a little perturbed. “I am very happy for you. I don’t wish to stop you from keeping your appointment. I simply want our seats. Just go to the next car and you’ll get to Vienna in time for your appointment.”

Arab: “But the next car is not air-conditioned, and this morning at the counter, they said it was too late to reserve seats for this car.  We were told we would have to wait and see if there were any open seats.”

KRZ: “That is why we bought and confirmed our reserved seats three days ago.”

Arab: Pointing across the aisle to a Filipino maid holding a severely handicapped child on her lap. With a pitiful demeanor, “You see our daughter, she needs to ride in an air-conditioned car.”

KZF: Disgusted with the man’s ploy, “I am not asking your daughter to give me her seat. I am telling you that you and your wife are in our seats. Would you now, please move?”

Arab: Puffed up and strident. “These are our seats and if Allah himself came down and asked me to move, I would not!”

KZF: With a slightly sardonic smile appearing on my face.  “Oh, no???”  Turning to my wife and parents, I tell them, “I’ll be back in a minute.” And I leave the car.

It was clear to me that the man thought Americans were fools or pushovers; maybe both. But I had been around too much to let such a little ponce get away with his buffoonish bluff.

While boarding, I had noticed a conductress observing passengers entering the train.  I went back to look for her and found her speaking to someone just outside the passenger compartment. Neither of them spoke English, but I spoke German and could explain the situation to them. I was instructed to show the troublemaker to them. I should point out that although things had loosened up by 1988, Hungary was still a Communist state. Creating a scene on government transport was frowned upon.

I re-entered the air-conditioned rail car followed by a blond haired conductress standing 6 feet talk who could have given Hulk Hogan a run for his money. She was dressed in a military looking uniform of grey, with a matching officer’s hat, which made her look even more imposing. The lady was not smiling. Stopping in front of the miscreant, she demanded to see the Arab’s tickets. He meekly produced them. Upon studying these, my heroine told him in no uncertain terms (this happened in Hungarian with the appropriate hand motions) to move to the next car.

The Arab and his Chanel clad wife rose to leave. As they passed me, I nodded toward my uniformed friend and asked the Arab lawyer, “Is she bigger than Allah?” He was not pleased with this, but as my Bruenhilde was still there, said nothing.

With the brouhaha past, my family and I settled in to enjoy the return journey to Vienna.

About five minutes after the train left the station, the Arab returned to our car and walked over to the Filipino maid holding his daughter. He said something to her. Immediately, she stood up and carried the handicapped girl to the non-air-conditioned car. He sat down in their seat and started to read a newspaper. A true Oriental gentleman, philanthropist and benefactor of mankind. • (1341 views)

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27 Responses to If Allah Himself Came Down

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    Well, to be fair, elites are arrogant the world over. But being a Muslim no doubt made him even more so. It’s amazing how impressive even a small woman can be as a bouncer if she’s sufficiently determined to use her authority. I recall a similar scene in Atlas Shrugged.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      My first overseas trip was in 1971. I have flown well over 1 million miles. I don’t have any idea how many train trips I have made. In the course of my travels, I have often had people sit in my assigned seat by mistake. In no other case, has a person acted like this man and his wife. (I didn’t include her role, but she also tried to bluff us.)

      I don’t know if he was obnoxious because he was an elite, an Arab, a Muslim or just an ass-hole.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        I suspect the last possibility has a lot to do with it, but there are no doubt cultural factors that increase the likelihood of such behavior. A strongly hierarchical society will encourage the elites to ignore the rights of ordinary people (as is increasingly happening here in the US). The Arabs have such a society, and the Saudis with their medieval monarchy more so than most.

        In addition, corruption can become so routine that it encourages such misbehavior. It reminds me of Joseph Lacordolos in the novel The Girl, the Gold Watch, and Everything by John D. MacDonald (one of his rare SF novels) complaining that in a well-organized society they’d know whom to bribe to get off from the serious charges against them. I have no idea how corrupt the various Arab cultures are, but I doubt any of them are even as honest as the US is (or was at the time MacDonald wrote).

  2. Rosalys says:

    And as a true disciple of the prophet, he didn’t offer the comfort of air conditioning to his wife either.

    “As they passed me, I nodded toward my uniformed friend and asked the Arab lawyer, ‘Is she bigger than Allah?’ “
    Priceless!

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      And as a true disciple of the prophet, he didn’t offer the comfort of air conditioning to his wife either.

      In this he is not unlike most Asian males.

      This is something we in the West should understand. It is only the Western tradition which put women on a pedestal. It is Western culture which brought equality to women.

      This can be traced back to our Age of Chivalry which has no analogue in any other part of the world.

      • Rosalys says:

        It actually can be traced back to Christ’s treatment of women, which is why it is a western value, western civilization sitting squarely on the foundation of Christianity. But don’t cha know, we women had to be “liberated” from all that – and it just one of the reasons we are in the big mess we are in today.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          It actually can be traced back to Christ’s treatment of women, which is why it is a western value, western civilization sitting squarely on the foundation of Christianity.

          This may be true to a degree, but the Age of Chivalry was connected to the troubadours who originated in what would now be the South of France and Northwest Italy.

          This had a very strong influence on Western Europe.

          I know of no such cultural movement in other Christian lands such as in the Balkins, the Byzantine Empire or the Russian Empire.

          So there is something in addition to Christianity that is at work.

          Have a nice trip.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            Well, there are many cultures that at least have the idea of female leaders. I’m not sure if the Greco-Roman culture did (though Livia Augusta certainly had some degree of influence, and no doubt other women as well, and there was always Zenobia of Palmyra — but she also escaped the usual fate of an enemy of Rome by pleading that she was just a woman), but the Jews had Deborah (and Esther, perhaps) as important leaders, and Christianity of course kept them (and had its own strong female leaders, including Theodora, the Empress Matilda, and Eleanor of Aquitaine).

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              Those you mention are rare exceptions, but I am not talking about women as leaders.

              I am talking about the Western cultural phenomenon of putting women on pedestals. The fairer sex, idealized woman. Not merely beasts of burden and baby machines. The better half of man which needed a knight in shining armor to defend their honor and being.

              This is a different attitude than that expressed by, I believe, Aristotle or some other Greek, that if his house was on fire and he could only save one person, his wife or his best friend, he would save his best friend because one can always find another wife.

  3. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Islam is the religion of arrogance. It shows. Interesting story, Mr. Kung. No doubt, as Timothy said, arrogance and elitism are known the world over. And yet we should be careful lest we always excuse the “religion of peace” and always attribute the bad behavior of Muslims to something else.

    We hold Christians to account for various things (even if Christianity is not relevant to the issue at hand). So, ultimately, “to be fair,” we are quite right to see this guy as yet another bully from the “religion of peace.”

    Man, you have more balls than I do. I would certainly have fought for my seat. But that little comment at the end about Allah was just asking for this guy to go Jihad on your ass.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      But that little comment at the end about Allah was just asking for this guy to go Jihad on your ass.

      I doubt this guy was very religious. Arabs are known to be big talkers, but I don’t think a religious Muslim would have said he would defy Allah, as thus guy did. In any case, I didn’t thing a 5’5″middle-aged man with a manicure was much of a threat. Furthermore, communist countries had pretty good boarder controls in those days, so I didn’t worry about the guy pulling a gun on me.

  4. Glenn Fairman says:

    what a great read…….

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Thanks Glenn.

      The fact that the Arab tried to pull a fast one did not particularly bother me. I knew I would win.

      What I found so offensive was the way he treated his daughter. She appeared to have been stricken with a severe case of Cerebral Palsy and he clearly considered her needs and comforts secondary to his own. I don’t believe a good person, not to mention parent, would do such a thing.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Hmm. Islam. Women not treated well. There seems to be some pattern here.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Islam was created as a religion for desert tribes who made a living raiding caravans. It has never changed. Naturally, this encourages a great deal of selfishness, though this is slightly mitigated by their tribal charity requirement. But C. S. Lewis noted that Islam was the only religion that had no version of the Golden Rule.

  5. Fabulous story! You had me on the edge of my seat. The ending had me just shaking my head. We have no real idea what life on the planet would be like if Christ had not come.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Thank you Deana.

      Christianity exhorts its adherents to do good to a degree I have never come across in other religions. That nobody can completely live up to its tenets, is the reason they are necessary. Without the moderating effect of something bigger than ourselves, we end up with proselytizing atheists and lunatic libertarians who see humanity as little more than chemistry or contract.

  6. Rosalys says:

    Another fine example of Muslim manliness.

    http://www.pickeringpost.com/story/hey-ms-merkel-here-are-the-real-refugees/5345

    The father of the little drowned boy wanted a new set of teeth paid for by the Canadian Government, so he sent his wife and children ahead, without life vests, in a rubber dinghy first to Greece where she could claim the father was killed in a Kobani battle before he would later claim to be alive and demand to join his family. The only risk was to his family… what a man!”

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      When I heard of this episode, my question was, “why doesn’t anyone blame the father who put his child at risk?” If he had stayed in Turkey, he would still be alive.

      Then when I saw the photo of the little boy who was drown, I though the thing looked wrong. Immediately I felt the scene had been fixed.

      It turns out that the photo was staged in that they placed the little boy’s body in such a way they thought would look the best. This is why one should never………… make decisions on basis of photos which are published in newspapers, magazines, on the web.

      These people have no scruples, and it would appear most Westerners have no brains, if they fall for this type of thing. It is hard to be skeptical about life, but in my experience, skepticism is warranted if one wishes to survive and prosper.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Diann Thornley, a science fiction writer who served as a military reservist in Bosnia 20 years ago, once said that the mortar bomb that hit a Sarajevo market had been tracked back to a Muslim unit, and that after it hit they brought in dead bodies to make the carnage look even worse.

  7. David Ray says:

    It’s a good thing you wern’t Bob Bergdahl on that train. You’d have sucked up to that islamist prick and given away your loyaly as a bonus.
    (On the plus side, it would’ve earned you suck up praise from that other America hating prick Obama.)

  8. Timothy Lane says:

    W. R. Mead has an article in the Wall Street Journal that was linked to at HotAir (where I encountered it) on the subject of the recent “refugee” crisis. Mead sees this as an indicator of the failure of Arab culture to come to terms with modernity (a failure also increasingly evident in Turkey and Iran due to their Islamism), and also of the failure of the West (especially northern and western Europe) to defend its own civilization. My suspicion is that this represents a joint failure of Islam and the Arabs; since the former was created for the latter, it’s not surprising that they have similar failures (and that many non-Arab Muslim states have them as well, with proximity to Araby being very disadvantageous). The link is:

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-roots-of-the-migration-crisis-1441995372

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Culture matters. The author only hints at it, but one need only compare what has happened in the Far East as compared to Arab lands since WWII and it becomes pretty clear that there is something rotten in Mecca and Damascus and Baghdad and on and on. Perhaps it has to do with the climate, but the culture is clearly backward. Eighteenth century Bedouin raiders and Souk rug traders are not adapted to modern life. Why are we and Europeans inviting such a large numbers of these into our countries? Treason, despair and ennui.

  9. Timothy Lane says:

    Jillian Kay Melchior has an article on NRO about why so many of the recent Muslim “refugees” in Europe are young men. Many of them claim to have families back home — left behind “temporarily” because some of the smugglers of refugees might prey on them. (Of course, if there’s no such danger back home, then why should Europe accept them as refugees?) Some bloggers wondered why they would leave their families in the hellholes they’re fleeing rather than defending them (ether there or as refugees). It fits in with some of the points made here. The link is:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/425398/why-europes-migrants-are-men

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      In my opinion, they article is not very informative, if truthful context is required to be informative. But you are correct that some elements of my piece shed some light on Muslim male behavior toward their families.

      1. Everything I have read in German and English media points out that the majority of the “refugees” are not, in fact, from Syria. People from Afghanistan, Albania and other Balkan countries as well as other Arabic countries make up the majority of the “refugees”.

      2. The above being the case, the story about leaving families behind because it is so dangerous is somewhat less believable. There is no doubt some danger attached to traveling from Afghanistan to Germany, this is not so much the case if one departs the Balkans for Germany.

      3. The civil war in Syria has been going on for several years. I find it curious that all of a sudden, thousands of Syrian “refugees” are flooding to Europe. I suspect that Turkey has something to do with this and that they are trying to put pressure on the EU to stop pressuring Turkey about attacking the Kurds. I believe both NATO and the US are removing military units and equipment from Turkey in a sign of displeasure at Turkey’s anti-Kurd policy.
      Don’t forget the Syrian refugees are reaching Europe via Turkey.

      4. The civil war in Yugoslavia went on longer than the Syrian war has gone on so far. And although Europe took in many “refugees”, I am not sure they took in so many as they are doing now. Certainly, they did not take in so many so quickly. And Yugoslavs have a European culture, although influenced by centuries of Turkish domination. The Syrians and Afghans can make no such claim.

      Merkel appears to be a socialist wolf in sheep’s clothing, tool of moneyed interests or mentally unstable. I can’t say which is the case.

      In any case, one must never forget that the Left’s goal is the destruction of Western Civilization. This is easier done from the inside than the outside.

      • Rosalys says:

        A friend, an American expatriate married to a Swiss woman, recently told us that Switzerland took in many Yugoslavian refugees during the 1990s, and the cultural changes that resulted opened Swiss eyes to the point that they now let almost NO refugees in. And it is very difficult to emigrate to Switzerland. He tells us that only next year will he finally be eligible to take the test to become a citizen. He had been living there six months of the year for many years. When he married his Swiss wife, he was allowed to live there year round. To become a citizen he must demonstrate that he can speak the language (German, as he lives in a German speaking area) and have a knowledge of the political system and laws. When he passes the test, he can then have dual citizenship; but the U.S. tax laws are so horrible that he is seriously thinking about renouncing his American half.

        His Swiss in-laws say how different pre-Yugoslav immigration Switzerland was. All kinds of petty crimes and graffiti erupted, which were unheard of in the old Switzerland. At least they were smart enough to learn a lesson from petty thuggery (that the rest of western world can’t seem to learn from massive rapes and murders) and nip it in the bud.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          The Swiss have their flaws, but political correctness isn’t one of them, perhaps a natural consequence of their hostility to gun control. In Camp of the Saints, Switzerland was the last holdout against the third-world invasion.

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