I went for a jog in Tijuana on Tuesday. Not five seconds into my run, a taco vendor yelled out, “El bano, necesitas el bano?”
He thought I was running to find a bathroom. Apparently, no one in my ‘hood runs for fun. About five minutes into my light, afternoon jog, the cat calls began. Picture the worst construction-guy harrassment you’ve ever experienced, ladies, and multiply that by a million. The machismo part of Mexican culture was at its height — cars honking, dudes whistling, a street vendor with a stare that burned holes into my semi-flabby thighs.
I went on the run because I decided I’m not going to be a big sissy anymore (I was carrying my pepper spray, so don’t worry too much, mom and dad). I also decided I’m going to adapt to Mexican culture, but I’m also going to keep the gringa attributes that I like; jogging, for one, and being a ballsy independent female for another.