It still is. Not a day goes by without the question: 'Sola? You are traveling alone? Really?!?' So I am getting a lot of attention. I am not complaining. I kind of like it, I think it is nice to get noticed.
And then I traveled with another motorcyclist for a while. A guy. And you know what? I disappeared! People stopped noticing me. They even stopped talking to me! For example we went shopping for tires. We walked into a shop and I asked the attendant for tires. He looked at my companion and asked: 'Street or Enduro?' I answered by telling him: 'Neither, I am looking for dual purpose tires.' Again he turned to my companion and said: 'Ok, I will go see what I have.' Do you get the picture! I was suddenly invisible woman!
Once I was back to traveling alone, guess what? Yes, I reappeared! Just the other day I pulled up to a hostel to ask about a room. The owner almost had a heart attack when he heard I was traveling alone. 'Really, alone? Aren't you scared? And with a motorcycle, dios mio!' His wife was standing behind him and couldn't believe all the fuss he was making. Finally she had enough and exclaimed: 'And why do you think a woman cannot drive a motorcycle alone? She has got two hands and feet as well! That is all it takes!'
But there is the other side to traveling alone. Like today: I went into a repair shop and wanted to by some gear oil for my bike. The guy behind the counter asks me what kind of car I have. So I tell him, that I ride a motorcycle. He informs me, that therefore I don't need gear oil, I need motor oil. 'Well yes', I tell him, 'I need motor oil for the motor, but I also need gear oil for my gear box.' He doesn't think so and he flat out refuses to sell me gear oil unless I show him the manual for the motorcycle. I give up and walk away. Outside the store I ask another guy if he could please go into the store and buy some gear oil for me. No problem, the guy walks in and gets the gear oil without the 20 questions!
I am not sure what I am to make of all this. I do agree with the wife of the Hostal owner. It should not be a big deal for a woman to be traveling on a motorcycle alone. There really is no reason why that shouldn't be possible. But on the other hand, it feels good and it is tempting to think that it is a big deal after all.......