Safety or politeness? That time I let myself be taken captive — because I didn’t want to be rude

(Credit: Illustrations by Maggie Chiang)

“I am so so sorry Mum. In case I am dead and you find this, it was a guy in a white car. The side mirror and the inside of the passenger seat door are broken. I made a mistake. Woops, sorry. Lots of love xxx”

Finding this note between the pages of my travel journal, scribbled on a torn piece of paper, gave me chills. I had written it months earlier, partly to try to make myself laugh, and partly because I thought it might be useful. I’d written...

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