Sunday, August 26, 2007

Pittstown Point, Crooked Island, Bahamas

0 nm
Wind: E-SE 10-15 knots

Last night we ended up at Cop’s again, as Blackjack’s was closed, and the Bahamian men were more persistent than ever in their attentions to me, the alien female. Karl’s getting jealous, and I’m not sure what to do about it. I try not to encourage them at all--I’ve completely abandoned any dancing prospects, after the debacle at Little Farmer’s--but I’m not sure how I can convince them I’m utterly devoted to Karl other than by following him around like a lapdog and clutching his arm helplessly at all times. I do stop short at the lie Karl would like me to tell, that he’s my husband. They all assume he is, and I don’t correct them when they make the assumption, but if they ask, I don’t lie. If Karl wants me to say he’s my husband, then he can marry me.

I guess that’s why women don’t come out in the Bahamas. Not at all. In most cultures dominated by machismo, women are pretty much doomed to a life indoors, unless they want to be interpreted as hookers. It’s eminently frustrating to me, the educated enlightened woman, who believes I should be able to do anything a man can do, including frequenting the most dangerous quarters of the world’s deadliest cities. I used to always threaten to go on solo tours of Iran, and I still would like to do a backpacking trip through Afghanistan. Maybe I will eventually. After all, I used to live alone in downtown Chicago, taking El rides through the heart of Chicago’s west side at three o’clock in the morning. I used to go for midnight runs a block from the city’s neighborhood with the highest murder rate. And I did hike the Appalachian Trail alone, much to the dismay of my family.

I believe I can take care of myself, despite any evidence to the contrary. It was disheartening, however, to hear on the radio today that the Bahamas has one of the top ten rape rates per capita in the world. Yikes. Maybe I should interpret everyone’s affections as a little less than benign. I always fear that my polite parries could be interpreted as that worst of all women’s sins, “leading someone on,” and that’s what could lead to terrible misunderstanding.

My only choice, then, other than using violent profanity to ward off my suitors, is to not go out anymore. Or at least to go out less. As women have throughout history, it’s my duty to stay peacefully at home, doing the mending and the dishes, while the men roam around town sowing their wild oats. So much for my soon-to-be-world-champion domino-playing ability.

No comments: