HAVANA TIMES — Who hasn’t hitched a ride before? Asking for a ride, spending countless nights on local and interprovincial transport forms a part of our everyday routines, at least here in Cuba.
I am already well over forty and I have spent half of my life hitching rides. It all began when I enrolled at the Vocational Institute of Exact Sciences to study my pre-university courses. This school was located in the city’s outskirts, to the north-west, and my family lived on the east side back then, which meant I had to travel from one side of Guantanamo city to the other.
That’s how my adventures to get a ride anyway I could began so I could get to school early. And even though a lot of time has passed since then, and I’m no longer the pretty and slim girl I used to be, I continue to have to hitch a damn ride.
I will now share with you my most recent incident when hitching a ride:
I was waiting at the closest bus stop near my home, like I normally do. One of those buses came and chaos quickly ensued.
I ran towards the crowd to see how I could find a way to get on, when the driver signaled to me to come closer.
“Come here, if you want, so you’re more comfortable,” he kindly said to me.
God, I’m lucky, I thought to myself and I quickly got into the driver’s booth.
“You are very lucky,” the driver said very enthusiastically, “I don’t let anyone come sit here, but I like you.
Hmm… I told myself, this driver is a little too enthusiastic, but I half-smiled and didn’t pay him much attention.
“You are a very beautiful mulata, I love your curly hair.”
It was one of those days that I had my afro loose in spite of the heat, sun, lines, everything…
What woman doesn’t like praise, a compliment, some kind words… However, listening to this gallantry from a complete stranger’s mouth, stuck in an old bus booth, took me back to an unpleasant event that took place when I was at university and I didn’t like it one bit.
“Thank you, Mr.” I responded dryly, I didn’t even look at him.
“The truth is, I really like you and I would love to have you to myself for one day,” he said bluntly.
In reality, this man didn’t say anything out of this world and he hadn’t even been vulgar, but I felt trapped and began to sweat profusely…
“Sorry, I’m a married woman and I’m not interested in being with you or anyone else,” I said, trying to not be aggressive.
“I’m also married, girl, but that doesn’t stop me wanting to hit this curvy body that I like so much,” now these words were threatening, sickeningly sweet and very unpleasant.
“Hit, are you crazy or what? You don’t even know me and you’re already thinking about hitting me? You dare lay a hand on me and you’ll see what happens. Go on, I dare you.”
“Yes, my well-endowed woman, hit you with my hard one until you pass out,” and he squeezed his penis as he was talking, which I think was already erect.
He had just shown all of his rudeness when God luckily made the bus pull up to a stop; I flew out of the booth and once I was out I shouted at him: shameless, pig, and even how bad his death would be.
He tried to say something else to me, from the bus, but I showed him my cellphone from afar and shouted: “I recorded it all, you pervert, I’m going to report you…” His eyes seemed to jump out of their sockets, he didn’t say a word, pulled off and left…