Chilling on the beach

I was all checked in to my London airbnb, showered, sorted, phone and laptop on charge and I went to get some food from the Sainsbury’s a three-minute walk away. A 50-ish year old Indian guy walked towards me and just as he was 1 second past me, he muttered…

“You’ve got fat legs”

I couldn’t actually believe what I’d just heard. It took me a few seconds to realise that yes, he had just said that to me. I turned around to challenge him but he’d scuttled off. I debated just ignoring it and carrying on but decided I wasn’t having that. I ran after him.

“Excuse me, what did you just say?” – I demanded behind him.

He ignored me.

“What did you just say?”

“I didn’t say nuffin,” – he said, still walking.

“Yes, you did. You were just rude to me. I heard you.”

At that point he turned round bent finger pointing.

“Why the fuck would I look at you?” he sneered.

“I heard you say…”

“Why the FUCK would I LOOK at YOU? WHY THE FUCK WOULD I LOOK AT YOU?
WHY, THE FUCK, WOULD I LOOK, AT YOU?”

He just kept repeating his question in the middle of the street. Shouting in my face, smaller than me with his ugly face twisted in anger, hooked nose a twitching.

I wanted to argue, I really did, not with the fact I have fat legs, I agree that they’re not the slimmest, I never said they were. I tend to note it myself on a daily basis – I don’t need anyone else pointing it out for me. I wanted to argue with this dirty little rat of a ‘man’ thinking he has the right to make comments like that to women he passes on the street.

I hadn’t even asked him if he was ‘looking at me’ anyway, I’d asked what he’d said. So, childlike logic says he was looking at me.

There was no point in challenging him any further though. This was not someone capable of conversation. He just kept repeating himself louder and louder, and faster every time. I couldn’t get a word in, and I wasn’t about to raise my voice level to his to repeat what he’d just said on the crowded Stockwell street.

Stung me enough the first time.

Instead I stared at him silently, looking him up and down as he shouted. Then I smiled and just walked off back in the direction I was going.

“You ugly BITCH,” he shouted after me.

Good one.

Some girls over the road had come round the corner and stumbled on the whole event, they asked if I was ok. I was. I’m glad I challenged him. He couldn’t actually even repeat what he’d said, whether out of shame at himself or the shock of getting called up on it. He just resorted to some lame one-insult-suits-all when under pressure.

I don’t know why. I found what he’d muttered a lot more offensive that what he ended up shouting in my face. As if, in his beady eyes, I’d want someone like him to be looking at me?

As I walked into Sainsbury’s my hands were shaking. I’ve read about how people have been stabbed for less in London and usually I’d let something like this go, thanks to that fear. That guy was obviously seething with rage, for some reason, offended by the mere presence of my legs wandering the streets.

Sad, sad little man. I can’t imagine the thought process of the type of person who would think to call someone up on something like that, let alone actually do it.

So yeah, within two hours of arriving at my new home for the month, I have an enemy on the streets and even more of a complex about my thighs. Great.


Sunday update

And then this morning, on my way back from the gym where I’d done an hour of Spin followed by an hour or HIIT Aerobics, I get this…

“Mmm you have a nice fat naan bread, I’d like to pour liquor on it and eat it all up”

W.T.F?

W.T.A.F?

Some black dude who by the look on his face was saying it as a compliment, also felt the need to comment on my body shape. I Googled what naan bread meant in that context – Google didn’t know either. But he was looking at my bum, I know.

Again, the shock left me dumb. I just carried on this time, and text my friend to find out when the streets of London had become a judging panel instead.

My friend’s reply?

“1) I was at a birthday meal and this man next to me was asking if I did cocaine, I said I did not and in front of everyone he said, ‘why not you’ve got the nose for it‘.
I was so mortified I couldn’t reply.
2) I was sat with my boyfriend and some friends by the canal and two girls came up laughing and said to him, ‘you are far, far too good looking (turned to look and point at me in disgust) for that girl‘.”
– I can tell you absolutely, positively, neither of those statements are true.

What’s happened London?

Everyone a body critic these days? 

What would you have done?

More on life stuff

Week in the life of a travel blogger Best Worst Life Events
My Favourite Photos from 2 Days in Mykonos
Why I'm Moving Back to London
tagged in street life