It seems to be going around; everyone’s tired. Tired mentally, physically, we’re sleepy, and can’t seem to recover. Add to top that, I’m tired of worrying and having to constantly check in anytime I go out of the house alone.
Madrid didn’t scare me, neither did Salzburg. Berlin did worry me a little because it’s huge and I didn’t know the areas I should or shouldn’t be in. But Chicago is a whole other story. We live here. I walked to the grocery store which is less than a mile away last weekend, and passed 4 police/emergency vehicles outside a school. Then I had people honking or making comments while I walked. I have to plan my routes to and from the grocery or the train just to avoid people. I don’t like doing that. In Bowling Green, yeah we had frat boys or other males who would yell things from their front porch but they didn’t make me feel so unsafe and were easy enough to avoid. Here, I had a very large man with his three year old get in my face to comment on my appearance. People have hung out of delivery trucks to yell things as they drive by. And that’s just the recent occurrences.
Yesterday, I took the bus to the beach to relax and had a mentally ill man kick me out of my seat, listened to him talk to himself the whole ride, saw him take off his shirt and shoes, then he proceed to pull the stop cord for the next 3-4 stops before getting off the bus.
I get to the beach, where I’m wearing a swim suit, and not a single person says or does anything inappropriate. I could walk home in a winter coat and hear things I didn’t want to, but wearing a swim suit on a beach, everyone’s minding their own business…
To top of the evening, when I came home I got off the bus to walk the block to my building. Two tall men with what looked like a laundry bag were about to enter an apartment building when I walked past and one put his arm out behind him with what looked like a bright blue gun. It freaked me out having anything pointed at me, even if it was bright blue and likely harmless. I now have mace in my purse, which I really hope I never use. I’m beginning to see why the church ladies won’t let me walk home from a few blocks over at night.
I don’t want to have to live here judging my hypothetical safety by the looks of the people around me.