I always used to walk on the opposite side of the road and watch her intensely until there was distance between us, and I swear that if she’d looked back at me I would have either leapt up the nearest tree or collapsed in a heap and gibbered. She never did. She always walked slowly in a straight line with her hands hanging loosely at her side, and she never looked anywhere but dead ahead. I always assumed she was the embodiment of the mad woman I so feared and frequently dreamt about, but I wondered later whether she might have been a ghost.
And this is especially so now that I watch a lot of Japanese horror films. The fact isn’t lost on me that this woman bore an uncanny resemblance to the stereotypical female Japanese ghost, which is probably why I like their films. There’s a comfy sense of nostalgia about them because I lived in one as a kid.