The Trouble with Hair…

I had a man ask to touch my hair today. That’s a new one for me. But wait, I feel as though I should tell the story from the beginning.

A few weeks back, I had just come to Zanzibar as a volunteer and was visiting a restaurant where some of my homestay mom’s artwork is displayed, when this man in his 40’s came dancing towards me. Shimmying no less. I had to struggle not to burst into laughter at how ridiculous he looked. He knocked on the cement pole beside me and told me to come listen to it. Eyebrow raised, I leaned my head in to “listen” to the pole.

I heard nothing. Big shock. I gave him my ‘this is awkward’ face, and tried to leave, but the man was persistent, and he was drunk. He ended up telling us that he had come to Zanzibar on holiday 8 years ago from Holland, and he’s just never left. I think he’s made it a game of his, to prey on any and every single female tourist. Lucky me. *pops shirt collar*

So, we went back to the same restaurant again a couple weeks later to use the preciously free wifi to do our work. This guy, whose name I can’t actually remember, was there again. Amazing luck. I watch from the corner of my eye as he spots me. I’m smart enough this time not to pay him any attention, not even be my normal friendly self. So I put on my concentration face and move in closer to my laptop screen.

Nope. Doesn’t stop him. He comes over, asks us all for our names, then tries to strike up a conversation with us… I go back to doing my overly important work. He comes back up to me later, singles me out, and tells me that he’s waiting to talk to me over at the bar. I had to force down my frustration and just say “ok.” About 10 minutes later we left, and that was that.

Then today, back at this oh so lovely restaurant (which actually has the MOST DELICIOUS samosas), my face twitched as I saw his figure walk in. This time I had my headphones on and my ipod playing whilst I typed up a storm. The man was kept at bay until the very end….
Sida had to go to the washroom. The second she left the table, I picked up my cellphone to pretend to make a call (yes, I am 5 years old). While I’m on my imaginary phone call, I hear the man stop Sida to ask her what her name is. *sigh* Thenn, he asks her what my name is. She says my name extra loudly, and I look up thinking she’s calling to me. BLAST.

The second I look up he motions me over. But you know, it wasn’t so bad. He told me that I concentrate very hard when I’m working. (yes!!) And then he said he wanted to compliment me… (here we go) He said that I have the most beautiful hair that he’s ever seen. And he wanted me to take it down so that he could see it. I laughed awkwardly and said “oh no, that’s ok.” But, he persisted, and for some reason Sida was still in the bathroom… Argh!

I took my hair down. He motioned to his friends across the bar to look – apparently he had told them about my hair. Seriously guy… what’s your deal? He told me to shake it out. I did not. Then, he asked to feel it… and before I could really even pull a strange face at him, he was feeling my hair. *shrugs*

And just then, Sida emerged from the bathroom! Perfect timing. This was uhh…. *runs for the door*

So, here’s what I’m wondering. Why me? Why do these people always find me? Sida told me today that she met some lovely people when she was on her own. And she wondered why all of the creepy situations happen just to me? *raises hands in the air*

Is it possible that I have a super power of attracting troubled people?

The other thought that is presently creeping into my mind is this: I was born this way, and I need to deal with it. I need to accept it. It’s not going to stop. No matter how much I want it to. *sigh*

Couldn’t I at least have a better super power though? Like, be able to walk through walls or become invisible perhaps? *waits eagerly*

Worst case scenario, I’ll just braid my whole head. Someone just told me yesterday that women with braided heads are not so attractive. It’s fool proof! :) Next time you see me, I’ll be much less attractive! Get ready!

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4 responses

  1. Hi Sarah! I’m sorry I have not been aware of your blogs. Joel writes me a note to check his blog, so I’m really spoiled!
    The above one about your hair is amusing, but you know what we call it over here? It’s harassment. Keep your wits about you. These guys don’t take “no” for an answer. Politeness doesn’t phase with them. I hope you never walk alone!
    Thanks forthe interesting blog. Love you a lot. Gramma

  2. You need to step your game up sista!

    It doesn’t just happen to you. Women in the DTES ask me for hugs. It is hard not to give them hugs… I know what it’s like.

    Here’s a suggestion. Tell him, “Go away.” Role play with Sida. Have her pretend to be the guy. Practice. If he doesn’t listen, repeat it like a broken record. The “broken record” approach is my fall-back method in some situations.

    In any case, I’m preaching to myself as well.

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