Across Continents

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Wider community

Consider the wider community he’d said. I’d smiled. I had. That’s why I’d contacted him. A little while back I’d stayed with an individual in his small bachelor pad. His conduct at times had been a little odd. Shown a padded envelope filled with intimate apparel. Wandering into the room where I was sleeping in the middle of the night. A bit unnerving, but in each instance, a plausible explanation.

I’d thought him lonely, his behaviour at time close to, but not actually, inappropriate. His actions reflective of poor social skills rather than something more worrying. And, for the most part, he’d been a very welcoming host. Nothing especially untoward. Unconventional isn’t a crime.

Ordinarily I’d have left it at that. A few new after-dinner anecdotes. But a chance conversation with another seasoned traveller indicated mine was not an isolated experience. A pattern of behaviour was emerging. A collection of episodes that individually did not merit action, but collectively might warrant further investigation.

Finding myself suddenly feeling uncomfortable with the idea of single females staying with the host. But, in fairness to the individual, I plainly lacked the grounds for further action. Instead resorting to raising my concerns with the overseeing hosting organisation. Encouraging them to see what sort of pattern was emerging. Its extent.

Trying to strike a balance between the interests of the wider community with those of the individual. Disappointing response. A few platitudes but little substance. Frustrating. But nothing more could be done.

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