Sunday, February 03, 2008

No speak English

When I first got here I'd take the bus into town if I had any errands to run. The route where I live is quite a busy one. On this one instance as I waited, I saw a man, a young man about my age, walking towards me. He looked a bit funny with his brown paper bag that concealed a bottle, of beer no doubt. He was either drunk or high or both. He definitely looked a little off with his hooded jacket and a sinister look to match. He kept walking back and forth, muttering to himself, at times making eye contact. It wasn't so much that I was scared, it's just that when dealing with someone unstable you never know what to expect next, no matter how much experience you may have had in the past.

Then along came an senior Bermudian man and stood next to me at the bus stop. Of course, he sensed my discomfort and looked at me and said. 'You know, these guys, if they ever try to talk to you, just look at them shake your head and say "No speak English". They tend to leave you alone after that.'
I stood there not knowing what to say in response, except Thank You, since I was a little preoccupied in trying to figure out what the heck he meant. And while I've seen both men on the island since then, I never fail to remember the older one's words.

Bermuda is an island where the single women get hit on all the time. The stories I've heard from my single gals, and some of them quite shocking. All
I know is Bermudian men don't mess with women that don't speak English. Apparently!


Anonymous said...

You got that right about Bermudian men hitting on women. And its not just single gals. I got hit on just as much once I was engaged and sporting a big ass rock on my left hand. In the 5 years I lived in Bermuda, I can not recal being hit on a lot by ex-pats, but many times by Bermudian guys, and always in strange inappropriate settings - primarily gas stations and the laundromat and a few times by a guy named "sparky" who runs "sparkys" bike repair shop when my bike was being serviced there (yes I did eventually stop using sparky's). One guy actually thought that by insulting me that he might have some success. He said something like "sexy doesn't just come in one size" which I assume was a reference to my rather shapely figure. He assumed that I had low self esteem or something and would appreciate the fact that maybe he likes a girl with some junk in the trunk or something? Funny thing about this loser was that he hit on my friend Michelle a few months after, and he actually had the nerve to use the same line on her with similar results! I have had a drunk guy named "Frosty" write me a note while at the laundromat, asking me to call him so that "we could talk". Clearly I must have given him mixed signals while totally ignoring him and trying to read the paper while waiting for the drier. You gotta be careful because these guys, if they think for one moment that you are an ex-pat and might be single....they head in like the vultures because they must assume you are stupid and need help in their country or something. I had a guy throw an empty pop can at me once at a tigermart while filling up gas. I was in a rather confrontational mood, so I actually approached him and he proceeded to ask me about what my valentines day plans were in a sultry and seductive voice with a wink, just in case I was not already turned on from the can that had been thrown at me. I have had many bizarre episodes like this, and although I never once said "no speak the english" I kind of wish I had thought of that. Too bad some old man never gave me that advice:)

Roshani said...

Does the line really work to detract unwanted attention? I think it would do the opposite because it reinforces that you are either an expat or a tourist which may lead the man to believe that he would have better luck with you than with a Bermudian woman.

bermudabluez said...

Interesting! I'll have to remember that...

~ Ms. Cute Pants ~ said...

Anon: I know what you mean. I often see men checking out the expats, single or not. I've gone thru some of it myself, altho nothing as crazy as your experiences.

Rosh: Yes I think it would, since the old man said so. Something about them not wanting to mess with you if you don't speak English. Perhaps it's too much work!

BB: Yes...It would be interesting to see what reactions you'd matter which English speaking country you're in.