Got on the bus and there were three boys across three seats, joking around and doing the big shot thing, acting up to each other. I sat behind them, not picking up the dynamic before I made my choice of seats.

To be completely honest, they were ordinary adolescent boys acting like they sometimes do in groups - leary, misogynist, dominating. But they were speaking Arabic, or what sounds like Arabic to me. I had a visceral hatred bubble up from the centre of my stomach. Two of the lads were dark skinned but one, the most vociferous, had something uncanny about his looks. He had dark red hair and pale acne-marked skin with pointed sharp features. He looked odd anyway, to me, but because he was acting so aggressive, so Arabic, to my hate-filled imagination, he seemed particularly ugly and... odd.

I don't even know where all this hatred and visceral antagonism came from. It's not like they were directly harming me or addressing their sexualized aggression towards me. But I know it was based on my perception and prejudice about his 'race'.

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