If it can happen there, it can happen anywhere

Warning: this post is rated R for reference to sexual body parts and mild violence content (gotta call a spade “a spade”). Completely based on true facts.

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After a post on being childish, here’s a serious one.

Lately I’ve been thinking about a lot about violence against women, which was something I knew about, but never really knew about. Until now. I always knew it was something that could happen to any woman, but for some reason (presumption? arrogance?), in some subconscious level I tended to think I was immune to it. Not anymore.

The text below is copied and pasted from an email I sent to a friend of mine when I was in Athens last June 7th.

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Ok. A very pleasant and then a very unpleasant thing just happened to me, after I wrote to you a couple of hours ago.

The pleasant thing was that I climbed Lykavittos Hill, the highest point in Athens, to have to most amazing view of the city, the Acropolis, the sea, the islands. Unbelivably pretty! The path leading up there reminded me a bit of the paths in Mont Royal, but not as not as well taken care of, or wide, or busy.

I took the back way up. On the top, where there is a little chapel, a lookout point, where there were a handful of tourists, an old man sleeping on the steps to a little belltower, two policemen. Going around the chapel, then a little further downhill, there was a fancy restaurant and a tram. After taking a couple of pictures, I retraced my steps from the restaurant entrance back to the top where the policemen were now talking to the previously-sleeping man.

On the way down, I decided to take the main path, which was more structured, shorter, wider, with a bit more tourist traffic. And here’s where the unpleasant thing happened.

A passer-by overtook me and tried to start chatting with me. Between Greek, English and Italian I gathered that his name was Eric. After three minutes of trying to get me to sit down and smoke a cigarrette, to which I kept replying (as I walked as fast as I could) that I couldn’t stop because there was someone waiting for me and I was late, he simply unzipped his pants and pulled out his penis as he said something about making bambini, standing there in the middle of the pathway, in broad daylight, 4pm, at the main access to a major tourist attraction in Athens. Definitely not very attractive to this humble tourist writing to you.

I just kept on going with quadruple speed (from my centre of gravity, belly button and whole being), at which point he ran after me saying “sorry sorry” and grabbed my bum. At this point, I turned around (it was actually the first time I stopped and/or turned around), raised my fist, looked very fierce and said something like “don’t you dare!”

To my great surprise, he froze and turned pale. As I suddenly realized that I couldn’t remember how to break any of his bones, and shouting for help would probably be useless, I turned on my heels and ran. Within 15 seconds I passed by another passer-by (by this point, I’m not trusting passers-by that are male, unaccompanied and look in their thirties). In another 10 seconds I got to the bottom of the hill, back to civilization.

And now, less than half an hour later, I am here writing to you. My legs now have just stopped shaking, and my heart is almost back to regular speed. But now I’m thinking: I definitely have to calibrate this “adventuresome” attitude of mine: this was definitely not fun… I only wish that there were policemen at the bottom of the hill too…

You be careful,

Ester
*****

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