Monday, June 20, 2011

Walking

It's a simple act. It is so simple that it has become uncool. Once you learn it as a child, walking requires no excess brain activity, which is why most people daydream while they walk. It is all about muscular memory. However, this is not the case.

I remember the first time I decided that I wanted to go jogging in the morning. My mother insisted on going with me, to observe the route, she said. We went at 7 O'clock in the morning, which is still early, but not early enough, because there were people in the street. Remarks were said all through the way despite my mother's stern looks, and disgruntled attitudes. We weren't walking in a shrewd neighborhood, but rather one of the supposedly best neighborhoods of Cairo. I was disappointed and annoyed, because walking became something that requires a lot of brain activity and preparation on my part. I can no longer just go walking when it suits my whim, I had to pick the time, place, outfit (the most loose and darkest one I could manage), and all through the way my face has to portray the look of someone who was electrocuted before they left their home (otherwise people would be encouraged to lay on the remarks).
I remember once as a teenager, I put on a red long skirt and went to do some errands, and people kept annoying me as I walked, maybe that's why I don't like colors any more.

Everyday women are badgered in the streets by men of all ages, starting with little boys at the age of 9 or 10, and believe it or not, not ending with men who are old enough to be great grandfathers. It is annoying and stress-inducing. That's not to mention the badgering that happens in public transportation or crowded areas.

I look at men and how they walk the streets without a care in the world; happy, smiling and daydreaming, and I feel envious and jealous.

I miss walking.

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