From the balcony

I hear loud cheerful voices, laughter. “You there with the hat!” I look down. A rikshaw bike is waiting in front of the red traffic light. Three middle aged tourists wave at a young woman waiting for the pedestrian traffic light to turn green. “Nice hat!” one of the men shouts. “Thank you!” she shouts back and quickly looks at her phone. “Do you want his number?” one of the other men shouts. She answers: “No!” and the man who complimented her on her hat shouts: “No, she wants my body!”
She looks at her phone again. The traffic light turns green. The rickshaw bike starts to move. The men wave at the woman and laugh out loud. She waves back.

Not really worth writing about. Or to make a fuss about. Didn’t she wave back politely? Maybe she didn’t mind the encounter. But the fact that she responded didn’t mean she didn’t mind. She had to do something. Ignore them while waiting and risk that they would become more intrusive than they already were. Walk away and cross the street somewhere else. Or just smile and be polite and hope the light would turn green quickly. Their traffic light first. Because otherwise she had to walk past the rickshaw.

Maybe she didn’t think all of this. Maybe she thought it was normal. Or funny even. But that thought bothers me even more.

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