DAY 2: Rapid fall from bliss

I’m not much of a talker, so naturally I am not a confrontational person. However, after today’s events I cannot help but think I should have spoken up. Perhaps the bit that I have to write will do me some justice.

If you know anything about the day I had yesterday then today may seem to be a complete 360 degree turn. Although I must say that it was bitter-sweet because while I’m reaching a point where things are starting to fall into place regarding my focus for the project, the journey today was not a great one.

We were walking to the Yeoville Market, where taxis back to Braamfontein can be found, when this little incident unfolded.  It had been a long day and I presume my classmates and I had been just has hungry as I was and even as tired as I was feeling, so walking along the street I became a little less aware of the strange characters that may be roaming around.  A man started to follow me and suddenly his silent pursuit broke into: “Hi, how are you? can I ask you for a favour?”

Before I continue, one thing you need to understand about me is that I’m a smile. I smile when I’m happy.I smile when I’m sad. I even tend to smile when I’m afraid. I certainly smile when I’m embarrased. I smile when I’m nervous. It is indeed like a natural impulse reaction when I’m exposed to situations that induce those feelings.

I was nervous, this was coupled with some fear-of-what-might-come, and not only was I smiling but I found myself trying to hustle through the traffic of pedestrians, to get away from him. However like a snake in the grass, he maneuvered himself through as well. And in what seemed to be a flash he was right behind me, again. My classmates are curious, even annoyed at this man’s persistence and go on to ask what he’s trying to do.

My nerves intensified and with good reason. This man puts both his hands around my waist and grabbed me and while I was shocked I broke free the help of some classmates. The incident was brief but it felt longer. He lingered for a while as we walked away and he had a grinned as though he had accomplished something.

It was shocking. It was scary. It was an almost that counted. It also became embarrassing when I was asked “Why were you smiling?” This sounded like “You could have avoided that If you hadn’t smiled” or, in layman’s terms: “That was your fault.”

It was quite the experience, certainly one which I will never forget. I suppose it is one of the many that I will have on this in-depth journey, the last stretch in my quest to becoming a journalist.


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