After dinner in Florence, I decided it would be safest to walk home along the river. (Safe route-imagining is one of those things that male travelers might not think about as much as female travelers do, I imagine.) The night was almost warm, and it was around 11pm. I’d had just enough vino bianco (one glass) to feel like Florensh was jush greaaaaat, but not enough to stop me from eyeing every street before turning on to it.
Halfway between Ponte Amerigo Vespucci and Ponte I Never Remembered Its Name, I saw a man about 20 feet in front of me. Here is where I always feel a little bit bad when dealing with strange men on the street. My first thought is defense: What might he want, and if I need to run/kick/hit, where will I go and how will I get scrappy? It always seems unfair, because streets are filled with many non-creepy men. But I have to look at them as possible creeps. Initially, at least. But let us return to our friend. (more…)