Erasmus Year Abroad: Being Assaulted and Halloween Happiness

Last Saturday was Halloween, which meant that there were of course some funky shenanigans on the cards - but still our usual Thursday night party ensued. Therefore, we battled through the weekend, drink after drink. Thursday's plan was to have a fairly chilled night in our local bar/club ‘Bella Vista’ so we were alive and kicking for our friend Toby’s party on Friday and then Halloween celebrations on Saturday. Of course, the chilled Thursday night wasn’t as chilled as we planned, so Friday was a bit of a struggle! (But not a struggle that free sangria couldn’t fix!)

So, here's a little tale about the events of Friday. There we were at Toby’s party, where free sangria flowing like a river, when I suddenly felt somebody softly touch my bum. I jumped round to find a man, about mid 50s standing there without a care in the world. His grey hair matched his equally grey tracksuit, which struggled to fit around his disgusting soul. I didn’t think too much about it and carried on having a good time, but then my friend told me he had also just touched her. I began to get annoyed with this man who was clearly there just to molest the young women at the party. Later, I happened to witness his creepy sausage fingers grope three more girls’ backsides. This just didn’t sit well with me - I’d had enough. I grabbed his hand off the third Italian girl, who thanked me gratefully and then with a blank expression, the man held his hands up to say “Whoops”. I told him pretty much to stop effing touching everyone up, as it’s not OK, and I turned back around to my friends.

A minute later, my brain told me that there was a nice cold beer being poured over my head running through my carefully straightened locks. As I tried to come to terms with what was happening, the grey man finished by throwing the now empty glass bottle at me, still, expressionless. Rather than instantly flipping out, I was in shock about what he had just done, and also disturbed by the look on his face as he threw the bottle at me. He was taken out of the club, still holding his hands up as though he was innocent.

I went to the ladies to have a second to think about what to do: go home and be really angry that this man had pissed me off and ruined my freshly washed, blow-dried and straightened hair; or to stay out a say YOLO. I decided the latter would be the better option, and I was bought sambucca shots to cheer me up. Incredibly, as the beer in my hair started to dry, it created some wonderful volume and I quite enjoyed the look. Every cloud, hey?

But seriously, it’s not right that this kind of thing happens. In my opinion, this guy should be locked away before someone else tells him to stop harassing them, and he punches them in the face or something. But as my friends and I have discussed, we would probably be laughed at or certainly not taken seriously if we reported him. And this provokes the thought in me about how many other young women, and anyone else in fact, don’t report this kind of thing.


When Saturday came we were pretty exhausted, but the party was still on! After some hilarious pre-dinks in my flat with a fair few of us in my living room, we headed out to the Piazza Del Campo for a huge silent disco party. Hardly anybody was dressed up (as expected) because Halloween isn’t really a thing in Italy, but we did the usual “minimum effort facepaint” and got away with not being spoilsports.

Unfortunately, not all of us were able to get the headphones from the company, because there were so many people that wanted them. Thankfully, my aforementioned pal Toby gave me his own headphones that I was able to plug into my phone. The rest of my friends had the proper headphones and I was unlucky not to get them, but it really made no difference that I was listening to my own music rather than their shared playlist. At least I was in control of the tunes and could secretly listen to Shaggy- Boombastic as many times as I liked, heheh. We all agree that we felt like 13 year olds at a school disco, starting conga lines and not having a care in the world! It was so great to look all around and see so many smiles - the biggest of which was coming from Toby who was having the best time out of everyone. I even felt the need to take an extremely blurry selfie of Toby and I to capture his happiness mid conga, of course - here it is!

Again, this post has completely ignored anything about studying or the actual purpose of me being in Siena. However, at least you’re getting a real insight into an Erasmus student’s life, right?!

A presto!

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