Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Today I was walking along a busy street, on the way back from visiting Conelia, when I heard cars honking and braking. I turned and saw that a young man had run out into the street, crossing to my side. Something about him bothered me, so I turned and walked faster. As I turned up a side street near home, he turned, too. I crossed to the other side of the street; he crossed; I crossed back, so did he. I moved my backpack from my back to my side and wrapped my arms around it. He kept coming closer. Finally I stepped almost off of the road and turned a little, waiting for him to pass. He slowed down as he came near and mumbled something in French. I was deciding whether to: 1.ignore him 2. reply in French, would have encouraged someone who was making me uncomfortable (although I wasn't sure why) 3. reply in English. If he didn't know any, he might leave me alone, but if he knew even a little, he would want to practice it. 4. reply in Spanish, which I have done a few times in similar situations. Depending on what he wanted with me, that might discourage him, or it might make him happy, as it would indicate that I am a stranger and don't know much. I was still deciding when I heard someone hollering and looked up the road to where some taxi drivers were washing their cars in a stream. One was yelling at him, "Why are you following that White lady like that?" while another was calling to me, "Watch out for that guy: he's following you." Without thinking I hollered back (in French) that I knew that he was. He looked confused, then laughed and walked rapidly ahead. When I walked past the taxi drivers and thanked them, they told me to watch out further up the road in case he waited for me, but he didn't. I went home happy, because it felt good to have people watch out for me.