Hello from Paris!
I still cannot believe that I'm here. Yesterday, I [finally] got to see the Eiffel Tower and got a bit emotional about it, but I have a post coming about that. I do think though that was the moment in which it finally smacked me in the face that I was in Europe because I had dreamed of seeing it for basically, my entire life.
I know you are probably here about this post, but I wanted to keep it light at first, but I am about to get serious. I hope I am not snapping too much, but even if I am, I'm not apologetic about it.
If you are following me on Snapchat, you saw that I had a minor, although VERY irritating situation with a group of 3 Irish men while I was in Lyon. Here's the background.
We all know that I am traveling on this Eurotrip journey alone. When I arrived to Lyon (which was a complete surprise by the way), I knew that Portugal was going to be playing their Euro game against Croatia that evening. I had seen the Fan Zone areas and wanted to check the game out on the big screen in the center of the city's square, so I did.
I don't mind folks coming up to me to strike up conversation. As long as you don't try to pet Foxy (my hair), I'm usually cool about it. I might, and probably will, turn down your advance for a coffee or dinner, but I will still be polite.
However, some folks just can't seem to take no for an answer.
Insert: A group of BELLIGERENT men from Ireland that were watching the game. My introduction to them was one of the drunkards stepping on my foot as he was stumbling to find an area to sit down. I rolled my eyes, stepped a little further to the right, and continued to try to focus on Portugal, because if you hadn't heard, I am officially claiming them as my cousins.
One of the three gentlemen must have noticed me standing aside alone and took it upon himself to speak to me. Let's just say that his "game" was weak. I was also in the middle of watching a very tense match, and I do not play about sports, so I was not into having conversation at the moment. The man made comments about me looking too serious, not having a good time, I needed a drink, and to "stop being so mean" (How many times have we heard that ladies?). I did my best to nod and tell him I was interested in the game and the game only and to have a nice day. I even smiled, not that I owed him.
That's when he proceeded to say I needed to stop being racist.
Pause. Excuse me? Simply because I was not interested in you, I am now a racist? Okay. But then, it's like the drunkard that was laying on the ground heard the magic word, and started screaming, "Oh she's being racist, eh?!" "Come on black girl! Stop being such a raaacist!" Then they tried to get the group of folks involved, by tapping at them, pointing at me, and continually saying "She's racist. She won't talk to him." They looked at him, looked at me, made an awkward face, and turned back around. Hey bystanders!
Good Lord, that was irritating. I was beyond annoyed but I continued to say have a great day, while looking at the game. The same gentleman that started the conversation then proceeded to say, "Stop being a bitch". *insert eye roll here*. He came back to me several times to ask "if I was feeling better" and other loads of crap.
Here I go...
I am so tired of men shooting insults when they get denied.
It is BEYOND a past of annoyance. It really bothers to me to my core. Not in the sense that I feel bad about what they called me. I am furious that some menfolk find it completely okay to call you a bitch, whore, ugly, fat, racist, whatever if you deny their advances. It does not matter if you are polite or rude. If you DARE to hurt that man's ego, you deserve what is coming your way. Stop the madness.
In the tumultuous time we are living, I personally do not take too kindly to the word "racist". I think it is slung around entirely too much and it is too big of an issue to take lightly. Even more, if you ask my friends in Dallas, they know I spaz when it comes to discussing street harassment. It is NOT okay. Screw you for thinking you are saving my entire life by saying you could rock my world. Don't talk to me if you ask someone what she is wearing before determining if a woman was "asking" for any unwanted attention. It's sickening, and if you think I'm exaggerating, go ask a lady friend that takes public transportation to work about the comments she hears on a daily basis.
It's a real issue that needs some attention. I was disgusted by the fact that one of the first stories I saw on Facebook this morning was a woman being stabbed to death on the train by a man after she muttered the word "no". Domestic issue or not, it's still a problem. A worldwide problem.
Anyway, so far, that is the only "bad" thing that has happened to me on my trip and it has already been a week! 5 more to go. I also think Jesus tried to make it up to me by having Portugal win that game. ;-) Europe has still been absolutely fabulous and most people here love me, so I will be fine.
Have you had a similar experience? Let's chat.