It happens to me all the time
Have you ever had this feeling that certain patterns or events are following you? They say that as soon as you learn the lesson, you will be able to go out of the vicious circle. It’s not that I haven’t learnt the lesson. I have. Many. Also my outlook over this problem has changed drastically. You see, now I tend to look at my experiences and adventures with a positive outlook and a bit of humour.
The problem is that they never learn. I moved abroad four years ago and about two years ago it has started. This attention of men, which can be annoying or something that boosts up your ego. I agree, everyone needs attention, everyone wants some ego boost from time to time, but in today’s society this often means crossing all lines and crossing the broder of your personal space. And there is nothing more annoying and often intimidading than that.
Let me explain this a bit more clearly. I was twenty-something years old when I moved (alone) from the central Europe, to a country which many consider Middle Eastern. Turkey. Istanbul, more precisely. A city of approximately 20 million souls.Sometimes I think that 80% are men. (Now do the maths how many eyes can stare at you every day.) Surviving the bus ride can be an adventure. Pretty much compared to the GIF you see:
The city is crowded. Rush hours are the worst. The rush hour or not, there is alway a rush hour around the girl on the bus. Have you ever counted the (male) hands which want to hold the same handhold as you? Or the number of people which just wouldn’t move when you want to go off the bus? So you basically have to rub your way out. Most of them time everything is fine. Sometimes you feel something strange close to your hips or lover. Most of the times is just a bag (but yeah, previous hand experiences have made you paranoid and certain body cells became more sensitive to a touch).
Usually everything passes smoothly. There are just certain days when in my green dress (which kind of became synonym of my unwanted city adventures) I take a wrong bus. This happens way too often. This is also a time when I discover new districts of the city. Usually district that Lonely Planet would describe as dangerous (if they would even deserved to be mentioned in such kind of a tourist guides). So this is also how I discovered that most of the street “population” of the city is predominately male. Staring type of male. Men in a car who like to honk. Men in a car who stops everywhere but on the red traffic light. Helpful men in a car. Men in a car with AC on and windows down.
So what to do? Don’t panic. Easier said than done, but with some practice (and self-talk) it can be done. Don’t stare back. They will think that you like them and will want to approach. Walk on/away like nothing has happened. Don’t bend your head. Don’t show fear.
This is just the first lesson I’ve learnt. I was lucky (touching the wood), that I never really found myself in a really dangerous situation. This is just a first story, actually more introduction to my profile. Stay tuned for more.