4 minutes ago
So, let's talk about why I had a bit of a hard time in #Srilanka - the locals, specifically the men. The men I had the misfortune of encountering, over and over again. On my first day in Kandy, I walked into a small alley in broad daylight to go up to the Secret Alley Cafe for some coffee. A young boy pointed me to the entrance, I turned around, and next thing I know- I had been pinched in my butt. I turned around and confronted him, he just played dumb and mute and smiled. Later, I saw him twice again by the lake and at one of the temples. Maybe he followed me around, maybe it was coincidence. In Ella a few days later, my hostel girlfriends & I were walking down the main town road full of backpackers wining and dining, when 3 local men on a bike stopped by us, whistled, asked us where we're from and where we're staying and continued to ride slowly right by us laughing and saying some really uncomfortable things about our bodies. This happened in Unawantuna, Mirissa, Hikkaduwah and again atop the Pidurangala rock in Sigiriya. A group of Portugese tourists noticed me being harassed by a bunch of local boys and insisted on accompanying me back down after sunset. And this came up in all my hostel conversations and outings. It seemed I was getting more attention than usual, because I looked Sri Lankan but wore touristy clothes. Or did they think I was more gettable because I looked like them and spoke Tamil? I don't know what it was, but it was. Was I bringing this upon myself? If you're thinking that, screw you. Most foreign tourists here wear shorts and tank tops, the locals are very conditioned to tourists over time. I also wasn't walking alone in the dark or being a daredevil for the heck of it. It was inappropriate, uncouth, sexist behavior, plain and simple. It can happen anywhere in the world, even in my own backyard in India. It just happened to me in Sri Lanka. People always make or break my travel experiences. That is the kind of power they have. And this time, they pissed all over my experience in this gorgeous country. I consider myself to be a strong woman, but this shit really got to me. I let it get to me. But I'll be back. I'll be back.