I was walking home from work at 9:30 p.m today. It’s a hot summer night in Barcelona, and the streets are teeming with the usual mix of tourists and crazies.
A young man in a grey hoodie passes me on Calle Ferran, cooing lovingly to the shifty looking grey pigeon perched on his arm. Clueless tourists trundle by with suitcases the size of small cars, ‘this town must have a night life, right?’
I cross La Ramblas, over into the Raval, and I’m walking up my street hardly two minutes from my front door. A car on the street slows down, a head pops out and an unmistakably Indian voice, in unmistakably ghati grammar, yells out ‘Hey baby wanna sex with me?!!!’
Suddenly I’m transported back fifteen years. I’m fifteen years old, and having men in cars slow down to yell inane words or try to grab me is normal, and the relentless daily sexual harassment of women, girls, children, octogenarians (you name it) is all sweetly labelled ‘eve-teasing’. I’ve traveled fifteen years, two continents and three countries to be annoyed in the street by another half-wit Indian man.
Still, they never wait to hear my answer.
No I still don’t wanna sex with you.
I wanna high-five you darling.
In the face.
With a hammer.