“It was terrifying as the man just had so much rage”

When I’d been in Spain for just two weeks, I was taking Spanish classes in Santander, Cantabria. One Sunday morning, I was walking down from my host family to meet my boyfriend in centre of the town. Santander has a lift that you can take to get from the top to the bottom of the town. To get to the lift I had to walk next to an empty construction site.

As I walking along, a man behind me called out “Hola guapa!” Not wanting to engage with him, I walked a bit faster and ignored him. He was furious, he called out after me “Oye, puta” and started running towards me. There were several flights of stairs next to the lift so I ran down a flight of stairs and decided he would either take the lift and I could go back to the top or if he started coming down the stairs towards me I would have a head start. He took the lift down and was out of sight.

I waited a while then walked down to the bottom of the stairs. It turned out the man was still waiting there and ran back up to start yelling at me. There was an old man waiting for the lift, so I stood beside him, hoping the other man would just go away. After a while, he moved away and walked up to a seat that looked over the lift and kept muttering things at me. I ran down the hill and met my boyfriend there.

It was terrifying as the man just had so much rage, all because I’d ignored his “hola guapa” remark.