I moved to Hull a week ago for work and figured it would not be too different from Sheffield, where I spent my past four years at university.

What I failed to take into account was that Sheffield's city centre population is largely made up of international students, like myself. It is a diverse part of town where I don't stand out.

That might not necessarily be the case for some parts - or some people - of Hull.

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For the most part, my accent and the way I look have made for a great conversation starter, with many kind strangers taking a genuine interest in where I am from and asking me how I ended up in Hull. As a reporter, it is fun to be on the receiving end of invasive questions for a change.

Last Saturday was my first weekend off since moving here, and I was pleased to have a bit of time off to do some furniture shopping for my house. When I got back, I was standing outside my apartment building looking through my bag for my keys. With a shelving unit in one hand and a bag of groceries in the other, my primary focus was to not embarrass myself by dropping my things. My new neighbours did not need to see how many instant noodle packets I had shoved into a single Tesco bag.

My apartment building looks like any other in the city centre

Just as I found my keys, an inebriated woman walking past me stopped to point at my building and asked her partner if it was a mosque. They both laughed and walked into a takeaway round the corner, while I stood there shocked.

I took a step back and looked at my building, wondering if anything about it did, in fact, look like a mosque. It didn't, but apparently to her, I did.

The building looked like any other apartment building in the city centre - except there was not a brown person standing in front of those.

Not that it should have mattered, but I am not Muslim, so to be reduced to a racial stereotype on my first week in a new city felt insulting. It was not an aggressive enough interaction for me to make a police complaint, but it left me feeling judged and hurt, and I knew she intended to do so.

Often a flippant racist remark like that normally would not have warranted any form of reaction from me, but with it being my first week, it was upsetting that this interaction would be what stands out to me when I think about first settling into Hull. It was a terrible joke at my expense.

I am certain this woman does not represent the general population of people living here, but unwarranted comments like the one she made can really make people close off to everyone, in fear that it would happen again.

On Sunday morning, thinking the incident was past me, I walked out of my building and fumbled to lock the door behind me. An elderly man jogging past mumbled 'morning' to me and I immediately recoiled. I did not say anything back because I was scared again. For, admittedly, absolutely no reason.

Something as ordinary as a cheery Sunday morning greeting made me flinch because I thought maybe it was happening again, someone was going to say something to me and force me to confront the fact that I am not from here.

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While I would never compare my experience to that of someone who has experienced any sort of horrific or violent assault against them, any degree of racism can affect how you perceive people's intentions, even in the long run.

I'm sure this woman has no recollection of what she did or said and I would not be able to pick her out of a lineup either, so I don't think begrudgingly of her. Frankly, in a couple of years, I would probably forget what she said. But I'll always remember how small she made me feel my first week here.

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