I wasn’t sure if I was going to write about this as it’s nothing but vitriol and spit. The latest incident of today clinched it.
I was walking through my last stretch of Vondelpark (in Amsterdam) contemplating having a hot drink at the nearby film museum cafe. I take the corner, turn my head to look at the stereo blasting some reggae, turn it back round and keep walking straight ahead. Some seconds later a man on a bicycle is crossing my path so I try to step more to the side, and still he cycles across to get in my way. Cycles to a stop, blocking me with his bike and his mass, and turning his front wheel into me.
“……………?” he asks as I take some trouble to move on around him, pretty thoroughly pissed at this stage.
“Excuse me?” I respond, still walking on.
He cycles up alongside me and repeats: “Are you okay?”
“That’s good. Where are you from?”
“Brazil??! OooOOh!” he sputters. Big smile.
“No, I’m from New Zealand.”
“Ah, New Zealand.”
“What are you doing here?”
“Just a holiday.”
“You’re alone? Where are your friends?”
“They’re at home.”
“Why aren’t they with you? Didn’t they want to come?”
“They have things to do.”
“So how about we go have a coffee over there?” he motions in the direction of the cafe that had been in my sights a mind-numbing lifetime ago.
“No thank you.”
“Okay then, bye!”
Seems like it ended amicably. He made no seedy propositions at this early stage at least, though I’m fairly certain that with his skills in bicycle ambushing he would have had it in him to ask bold questions if I had taken the coffee. Yes, I know “nothing happened”, “he was just a guy”, and I should get over it.
But no one fucking uses a vehicle to force me to stop, just so they can get their way. Mofo.
Of course the reason why I’m writing this at all is because I’ve had way too many encounters with random men who think that persistence and insistence are perfectly reasonable replacements for manners and intelligence. Men who you would imagine probably pine for those easy days of clubbing and dragging.
What else have I had? The young Romansch guy who stared at me through the passenger window from his driver’s seat as he was driving down the main road of the Swiss National Park. During which time he was also leading two cars in passing another car as a tall truck was drawing ever closer to the three of them in its rightful lane. So in fact he was staring through his passenger window and the two front windows of the car he was trying to pass. What a fuckwit. What’s worse is that it doesn’t end there. He later came back to pull over to where I was waiting at the bus-stop alone and proceeded to spend 10 minutes pleading, cajoling and passive-aggressively ordering me to get into his car so that he could take me to my desired destination. He only left when a couple emerged out of the woods and I started to look their way.
There was the middle-aged French man who pulled to a stop by the centre line of a moderately busy road to ask me: “Are you alone? Really?? Wow. You’re alone? You’re alone? I can take you somewhere, you can come with me.” Let’s remember that I am on the other side of the road here, walking along and singing quite happily in the bright sunshine. “No thanks, I like to walk.” “You’re alone? How come you’re alone? Wow. I can’t believe it.” …….. I would have taken him as a kind man concerned for my welfare if it hadn’t have been for the way he was staring at me and his strange stuck record exclamations of awe that I would actually be alone. That and how he stopped in the middle of the fucking road.
The man in the Biarritz hostel who spent half an hour (the total time from two attempts) trying to convince me that it was entirely my choice as to whether I take him up on his offer of a drive around Basque Country with him for the day. I declined, and declined. Later that night he drew a chair up to mine in the hostel lounge and expounded upon the elegance of my long fingers.
Yes, there are men in every country who like to drive by slowly in their shiny big cars just to say a cutesy sing-song hello out the passenger window.
But no sigh. I do not give in.
To all you creepy men out there, who think you can trick, coerce, tire and otherwise persuade a girl perfectly happy in her own company to go out with you… take a ride with you… or whatever it is you’re really thinking with you…….
Get a fucking life. Get some female friends, get an education worth something. Buy some books on body language, or you know what, this kind of information is even on the internet these days. While you’re at it, do some personality quizzes which will eventually reveal to you what backwards, narcissistic babies you are.
Fucking hell. No means no. And in this day and age… yeah, a girl can do things without a chaperone or a husband.
And you know what? The creepiness is only the half of it. The other half is that your generic male predator act is boring in this day and age. You are boring to the world for your inability to see yourselves as something more unique than a stereotypical alpha man (which we all know you are in reality not, because alphas don’t try so hard and certainly don’t lose so spectacularly), and for your blindness to how interesting women are as people, rather than button-operated objects. I suspect you bore yourselves too.
Fuck I want to kick something.