Dear Men of Santa Marta: Part II

Today I finally felt some sort of revenge on the men of Santa Marta. Recently I wrote a letter to all the men in Santa Marta to stop harassing me. Apparently one man didn’t get the memo because today it happened again. Fortunately this time around I got the revenge I always dreamed about.

Today, Darien and I walked home from the mall at around 11am. We went to grab some groceries and coffee before lunch. The mall is only about 4 blocks away from the English school where we live and volunteer. About a block before home on a busy main road, a man on a bicycle grabs my ass aggressively then pedals off. If you didn’t read my last blog, this is the SECOND time ON THE SAME STREET where a stranger has grabbed my ass. Luckily today I was walking along side Darien and surrounded by Colombian angels. Seconds after the assault, Darien sprints after the ass-grabber. A couple on a motorbike see that something happened. The woman hops off the bike and stops traffic to ask me what happened and to retrieve Darien’s belongings that flew out of his pockets. She hands me his phone and sunglasses as I explain what happened. The look of maternal fury takes over her. I look ahead and see Darien still chasing the man close behind. All of the sudden, someone on a different motorcycle cuts the man off so Darien could catch him. The woman and I jog to the scene. Darien throws the man off the bike as the man repeats “I’m sorry” over and over. The woman (my new bff) runs up to the man and starts hitting him with her motorcycle helmet repeatedly. Her helmet hits his head as he backs away and tries to defend himself with his palms. She walks towards him with no mercy. I felt so protected in that moment. A woman who I had just met not only stopped her motorcycle to help but took it upon herself to hit him multiple times in the head with a hard object. The gesture was so sweet. A group of 15 or so motorists and neighbors surround the man yelling and shaming him. Darien points to me and tells the man to go apologize. The short 20-something year old man comes towards me with his hands in a prayer position at his forehead begging for forgiveness. This was my moment. I finally came face to face with an attacker. Usually karma comes days or weeks later, but this man’s karma came within a minute or two of his wrongdoing. So, I did what any respectable, spiritual, grown woman would have done. I slapped him as hard as I could right in his face. Twice. Once for his actions and once for the other man who had grabbed me a week prior.

I walked away with a new respect for the community here. They take justice into their own hands and fight for what is wrong. That woman protected an outsider, a foreigner like I was her own daughter or friend. I am so grateful for her and of course, Darien. There’s nothing like seeing your lover in a full sprint chase after someone then throw them on the ground and force them to apologize. *butterflies*

I’m not sure whether today changed the man who grabbed my ass or any of the perverted men in Santa Marta. Maybe not. Probably not. Regardless, it was a positive experience for me. I couldn’t stop shaking from adrenaline and for some reason I could not stop laughing. It felt surreal, like an action movie starring Jennifer Lopez or Halle Berry. I didn’t want my live action movie to end with the man dead or beaten by my boyfriend or in jail. To face the man and see the fear and regret in his eyes was enough justice for me.

In conclusion, women, you can travel with a 6’5 boyfriend and you might STILL get harassed or assaulted. Point being, don’t listen to your coworker or aunt whose never left her hometown who warns you not to travel alone. If you are single/have no cool friends, travel by yourself, enjoy your freedom, and live your best life. Bad things might happen, but we can handle it. The Universe will be there to protect us and give us angels and Colombian women with helmets when we need them. ❤

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