Rose-coloured glasses, be damned!

February 27th, 2014, 3pm

The floating houses of Belen…. Beautiful and peaceful, right? Well, in one sense, definitely. Mostly… Not really.

Okay, I know I’m only three hours in, but how about I cut through the tourist-glow crap and let the real Connie out: Roaming through this city on my way to the waterfront, I have NEVER been cat-called and whistled at so much in my life. And it’s making me think how awful it is sometimes to be a single woman in a lot of countries out there in the world, why I have to lie and say I’m married to protect myself, pretend I don’t understand what’s being said, ignore the up-and-down ogling as I pass through a crowd of gaping-mawed men. And despite not knowing whether I’m attractive to the opposite sex back home in Toronto, I recognize that at least I, as a woman, have at least rudimentary respect on many issues I often take for granted.

Of course, some of my friends may bring up the fact that I got a lot of attention in Istanbul, too, and loved it, but there, it was infinitely more playful and genuine, just people wanting to talk, not a flurry of whistles and smooching noises and yelling out the name of X Asian country without even striking a conversation.

Would things be different if I walked with another girl? Maybe. A man? Hell, yes. I’m gonna rest my head and prepare to get going to the Amazon. (End rant) (Are these malaria pills making me extra feisty?)

David Wade, Vivien and Christine said thanks.

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Connie Tsang

Toronto-based event + conference photographer, lover of words, consumer of interesting things.

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