People that know me really well, know, I’m not one to be scared of change, new things or strangers. I rarely feel unsafe or rarely feel like I have no control over a situation. While in Italy we were constantly being harassed by street vendors and others alike into buying things they were selling. We were more often than not, violated by wandering eyes. It’s not like the typical guy-checking-girl-out wandering eyes, it’s the I-am-going-to-impregnant-this-girl wandering eyes. I may seem to be being dramatic but it’s true, I just don’t understand this way of life. Walking through Rome men would stop talking to stare at Dana, Haley and I. I’m in no way saying oh yea all these guys were checking us out, they were doing it to anyone that looked foreign, or any female for that matter, as if, if they wanted to, they could own us. It was not okay. Often we just looked ahead blankly, not giving them the satisfaction that we were bothered by their looks. At one point in Rome, 5 men were close to us, staring intently and Haley yelled at them. Telling them they needed to stop and we were quick to walk away before anything escalated. One time this man in Rome also tried to sell me something when I told him off, he followed us along the road asking if I was Chinese and insulting Chinese people, which quite frankly didn’t bother me, I ignored him until he walked away. He looked like the idiot, not me. I also almost forgot my encounter in Florence. I’m not sure if I have bloggd about it, but I’m sure the story will be interesting told more than once. We sat at a cafe and this young man dressed as a mime approached our table, came really close to my face and I chose not to react. He was followed by three women, the four of them were gypsies no doubt about it. They are notorious for doing ruthless acts and stealing your money and I knew we needed to be careful. This mime character had approached us a number of times while we were in Florence and it got to a point where I had enough, we were walking down the strip to our hostel, three women lined the walled that we walked by drinking 1/2 litre beers, the mime was in the middle of the strip, lips puckered and arms up, Haley was able to walk around him but he blocked my way, arms streched on either side of my face and lips quickly appraching. Without even thinking I smacked his arm so hard out of my way so I could walk by and yelled “don’t f***ing touch me”. As amped up as I was, I neew we needed to keep walking, not linger before things escalated,. I’ve never felt so violated until reaching Athens.
Haley and I have been in Athens for what will be our third night, and Dana was here for two nights. Firstly, there is a raid of men constantly lingering outside the entrance of our hotel and it’s not the safest location. Second the number of men walking around the streets in comparison to women is always about 10:1. Maybe it’s our location but every single eye that we pass has looked us up and down a number of times as well as catcalling, hissing and maying other usual noises. Like I said before, I’m not trying to say it’s only us, because I know that this is happening to a lot of people, but it’s unnerving and uncomfortable. I’ve honestly never felt so unsafe. Tonight was my limit. We walked home from dinner after being eyed all the way there and all the way back, getting yelled at, whistled at and right out blocked so WE had to move out of the way to get around thm. Walking home I was sweaty, flushed, angry, mad naseous and right out scared. It sucks for women and maye men too (I’m not sure) but women wanting to travel have to be so on edge and careful. It’s not fair to say well maybe women should dress more appropriately because we have literally worn pants and sweaters to dinner every night and this still happens.
Needless to say I appreciate more and more where I live and maybe if I had grown up in this environment I wouldn’t feel so violated. But regardless women should never be objectified in such a way. Needed to get that off my chest. I have a few days to catch up on my blog and have every intention in doing so.
Until next time,