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So, I THINK I WAS HARASSED! Maybe I wasn’t but I strongly feel like I was. If you’re on my Facebook, you’ve probably seen a part of this gist. So this is the 100% gist:
On my way to work a couple of days ago, a guy drove past me and I noticed him stop his car a few steps from me. I had also noticed him checking me out as he drove past me and sort of guessed that he stopped because of me. I guessed rightly.
As I got to his car and made an attempt to continue walking, he called from his car and said, “Hello. Excuse me”. Now, somewhere in my head, I heard my mom warning me to be wary of strangers and I almost ignored him. But the part of me that claims to be cooler said “Funke, calm down. Maybe he just needs directions”. So I stopped and faced him.
He asked, “Where are you going? Let me drop you off.” Sorry man, you don’t drop a Yoruba girl who grew up in my society off anywhere, especially when it’s close to Christmas.
I politely replied and I smiled (I wonder why I did but…) and said, “No, thank you. My destination is just around the corner. I’ll be fine.” And I kept walking, forgetting the past behind me.
In another couple seconds, this guy had caught up with me and called out, “Okay, if I can’t drop you off, can I have your number?”
I politely replied again (I’m not sure I smiled this time around), “No, sorry.”. I probably should have added, I have a boyfriend… But no, I didn’t.
I walked on and the guy kept driving after me and stopping when he caught up with me. This happened about three times and I had already begun to feel extremely embarrassed and uncomfortable. So what did I! I flagged down a bike and told the bike guy where I was going. It wasn’t far but because I felt uncomfortable and pestered, I had to take a bike.
I heaved a sigh of relief and had calmed down when I heard a car horn behind me. I looked back and saw his car. I don’t even know what happened at this point but I instantly started panicking. I moved to feeling embarrassed to feeling pestered to panic real quick. I wanted to tell the bike man to increase his speed by telling him someone I didn’t know was coming after me but I thought against it.
I brought out my phone from my bag all shaky at this point and tried calling a male colleague who I felt would have been at the office at the time and could come rescue me but he wasn’t picking and on the third try, his phone was off.
Immediately I got down from the bike and paid the biker (I had change thankfully), I raced into my office building, banging on the door before I gained access. For the next couple of minutes, I sat half-expecting him to knock on my office door. Maybe I would have fainted if that had happened.
Now much later after I’d calmed down, I thought of the whole issue and I began to feel like I had been harassed. I termed it harassment because I had been extremely uncomfortable and continuously pestered against my wish. I tried to imagine that he was persistently following me without a car and against my wish.
I posted my experience on Facebook and I had varying reactions. Some were of the opinion that calling that harassment was way too far-fetched. After all, he was only indicating his interest in me. While others did agree that it was harassment.
I don’t know what you think (and I definitely would like to know) but I still do think that that guy harassed me! Even if he was being persistent or whatever, I had told him No twice and he still kept on. Maybe I overreacted by being panicky but I’ve never been one person to remain calm when I suspect someone following me.
What do I call it? An infringement on a lady’s right to free movement? Abi what sef?
Well, so that’s what happened. What do you think?
I have been in Lagos all my life. And asides the four years I spent in school, away from Lagos, I pretty much have been in Lagos through and through. So when I write a post on the things you should never do in Lagos, trust that I am not just talking from knowledge but from experience. Lol, don’t mind me, I’m just feeling myself. If you’re a lagosian, you will agree with this. And if you’re a new or aspiring lagosian, you’ll definitely need this.
1. Never ever give strangers audience. Five years ago, I almost got scammed by two unknown guys because I stood to listen to them. Let’s say I was fotunate not to have fallen (evidence of a mother’s strong prayers). I have heard similar stories of people who fell prey and who, at the end of the day, end up losing money or other valuable stuff. So please, when someone you don’t know walks up to you and tries to start a conversation with, walk away or totally ignore. Unless you have mind sha.
2. Never go to thrift markets with all your money in one place,if you have a lot of it with you.
This will particularly come in handy for females who regularly visit the market. Cashless transactions aren’t common in thrift markets so you have to deal with carrying money around. I know someone who would split her money into different places (purse, socks, bra… Lol) before going shopping. So if one part got missing, the others remained intact. Absurd, but could save you tears and worries anytime.
3. When a fight breaks out in a place, leave.
Sometimes my amebo attitude will not permit me to run away. I like to still stand and wonder what could have caused the fight and how it would end. My mom hates this and growing up, the first thing she did when a fight broke out anywhere was to carry her children away from there instantly. Why? You never know. The police could come and arrest everybody and put them in prison whether they’re at fault or not. Or, they could start breaking bottles or shooting each other. ?
4. If you’re in public transport, keep your phones or gadgets unless you’re sure you’re extremely safe. I am usually very careful about using my phone when I’m in a public transport. I can’t deal with the trauma of having my phone snatched or being robbed. If you’re in a personal car, do well to wind up always when driving, especially when in a stand-still traffic.
So, what are the things a person should never do in Lagos that I have not highlighted? Please use the comments box.
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