…or, the story of how I definitely got followed home.
My friends and I wanted to go to the biggest Monday night party (yeah, Barcelona parties hard on Monday), but only some people got tickets.So we went to a bar anyway, with hopes of convincing the bouncers that they wanted to let us in. Around 2 a.m., we headed over to the club.
One guy tried to convince security that everyone without tickets had just forgotten to print them. It nearly worked…until four huge bouncers came over and started saying “this is the guy causing problems, yeah?”
I really didn’t want to start anything with the bouncers at my favorite club, so I figured that was about time to make my way home .
Walking from this club to my flat only takes about 20 minutes. It’d always been okay in the past, so I assumed this night would be the same. Plus, I didn’t want to pay for a taxi or wait for the bus.
But this time was different. As I walked past two guys, they definitely started following me. One of them wearing distinctive light jeans that almost glowed under the streetlights.
I started walking a bit faster, and headed for a bar where I knew some of the employees – but it had already closed for the night. So I looked for taxis. They were all taken.
I kept on going, hugging the walls of the buildings, walking quickly, sticking to lighted areas, checking over my shoulder, and fiercely gripping my bag. Thankfully I was by a few well-lit clubs, so there were tons of happy clubbers taking cigarette breaks…but out of the corner of my eye I could still see someone.
I crossed the street carefully and quickly, staying close to the edges of the buildings.
Just as I thought I’d lost the guy, I took a chance and walked across a plaza. As I was almost done, I looked over my shoulder. Somebody in light-wash jeans was not too far behind me.
I sprinted across the street in between cars, then ducked under a construction site to hide. When I spotted a couple going home from a club, I stuck close to them – they were too entranced in their amorous encounter to notice me, but near enough to ask for help.
Then I was just two streets away from home. I was afraid of everybody who was around. When I got to the main street, there were two guys again, and I freaked out. I nearly cried when I saw somebody emerging from a construction site on my street. Luckily, he was harmless.
When I finally turned onto my street, I glanced over my shoulder one last time. Walking up my street was a guy in light-wash jeans.
Full-on panic set in.
I sprinted to my apartment, tore open the door and slammed it shut. As I waited for the elevator, I couldn’t help watching to see if anybody came up to the door. Nobody did…but still. It was a pretty scary encounter, and it was definitely the first time I’ve felt unsafe in Barcelona.
What was different this time? First off, I took a different route home to avoid the super touristy Ramblas. The Ramblas are full of thieves….but also lots of taxis and police.
Then, I’d dressed up to go clubbing, and I’m willing to bet that drew the wrong kind of attention. And it was pretty late – 2:30 a.m.
These guys probably would’ve only taken my stuff, but I was totally alone and it was a really scary experience. Next time, I’m definitely going to take the bus or head for the nearest taxi.