here, there, everywhere


In Middle East, Syria on March 26, 2007 at 7:07 pm

I’ve been checking out what the women wear here. For example, can I wear a short skirt, short being around the knee. The answer appears to be ‘yes’ as long as I wear black tights with it. So this is what I do last Thursday on a very warm day. In addition I wear my knee-high black boots. I’m wearing a loose-fitting black top and my leather jacket. I think I’m more conservative than some of the girls here. Not so decide the men in their trucks and cars on the main road by school. I got honked at, whistled at, yelled at. All because, I think, I’m not wearing a headscarf. I get on my service to head home and the driver wants me to sit beside him. I try explaining that I like my seat, this causes a commotion in the bus and the young guy beside me tries to calm the situation.

At last we get to my stop and I jump off as does the young guy. I’m going to the internet cafe, which happens to be closed, so I start walking home. Guys come out of their shops to tell me the internet cafe will open again in two hours. The young guy from the bus magically appears and starts following me around. I eventually tire of him and tell him to get lost which he does not do. He persists in following me around my neighbourhood while I buy groceries and try to lose him. I get to my apartment and make sure he can’t see that I’m going upstairs. He’s not there, at least I’m sure he’s not. I get to my apartment and start telling my roommate about this guy, who is maybe 19 or 20 years old. Ten minutes later my doorbell rings and it’s him, standing there asking for my phone number. So I walk out to where he is and give him an earful in mixed arabic and english. I’m yelling “memnua” (forbidden)and a whole host of other words that my neighbours might not like if they understood. I haven’t seen him since, I think he’s been scared into hiding, as well he should be.

I will NOT wear a headscarf. I know who and what I am and if I have to explain that, OK. Just don’t follow me home, you weirdo.

  1. I LOL so much about the poor guy at your door.Proud of you for holding your stand for the scarf !It’s a drop in the ocean to change mentalities but it’s of drops that oceans are made.Happy Easter my sweet sister !

  2. I hope you keep posting regularly – I love reading this stuff. Sorry you had a rough time with the men. I remember my mom – who lived in the MEast in the mid-60s – telling me that men on the street would yell “I love you!” at her and my grandmother all the time. They saw westerners even less then than they do now. Jaleenand I finally started a blog –

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