I came out of the store with both arms full, and because the trip had been uneventful, I was not expecting trouble. I had come to Madrid alone, my first time traveling solo. I just wanted to come to Spain, see the museums and other places, and then go home.
I started down the street, I walked with my head down, trying to render myself invisible. This was my usual behavior at home, so I did not think to change it. Suddenly, a young woman approached and asked for pesos. I lifted my head, and I said no in English.
She grabbed my forearms, continuing to ask for money. I started panicking, because no one on the street stepped forward to help. I started praying silently for God’s help, knowing, without a doubt, that He was there with me. My reaction was to run, but I felt in my spirit to stand my ground.
I looked her in the eyes. I said to her, “If you don’t let me go, you have never seen a black woman act a fool as I am about to do on you.” She didn’t understand English, but she understood the look on my face.
She finally let me go. Starting to look down again, I heard a voice say, “Keep your head up and walk, don’t run!” I walked back to my hotel with my head up. I learned that maybe I needed to learn to stay alert when traveling in a foreign country.
I have written this story before, but writing it for the 50 Word Thursday, which requires no more than 250 words, allowed me to learn to be more succinct in the writing of my stories. The prompt phrase is by Lisa Bullard, Turn Left at the Cow: Maybe I needed to learn to stay alert when traveling in a foreign country.