Thursday, April 17, 2008

Bus rides and perverts

Ok, I admit that public transport is not something I brave very often these days. Mind you, when I was in school and during the first uni. years I used to travel all over Colombo by bus. Then chronic laziness set in.

Anyway, last week, there I was, sitting on the aisle seat of a 176, minding my own business and mentally preparing exactly what I was going to say to Mr. R at the meeting. The guy next to me - a gaunt, middle aged fellow - kept shifting around with the parcel on his lap, and what do you know... less than two minutes into the ride, the guy is fumbling around my leg. Just below the femoral triangle.


I scowled at him and moved myself away. Wondered whether to start yelling but felt doubtful. Maybe it was an accident and he was just fumbling with his parcel... Hmmmp... Anyway, he didn't try any more monkey business and I kept quiet as my halt was quite close.

What are the odds of something like that happening on the way back? Pretty high as it turned out. This time it was the guy standing near my seat, ignoring the practically empty bus area in front of him and oblivious to the conductor yelling "issarahata yanna, issarahata yanna" into his ear. Perv #2 was having fun rubbing his crotch against my shoulder... and getting harder by the minute!


I scowled up at him... stale breath courtesy of a poor quality distillary wafted all over me. After trying unsuccessfuly to move away (the guy kept moving with me) I finally elbowed him out of the way, got up and moved to the front of the bus.

The fact that Sri Lankan public transport reeks with maggots like these does not surprise me. What surprised me was my reaction - or rather, my lack of any. I was shocked, disgusted and felt dirty and violated. I like to think of myself as a strong person. When faced with such a situation, I had always expected myself to be very vocal, yell and make a big scene etc. Instead I just felt bad about myself. Not blaming myself but just generally icky.

Couldn't wait to go home and shower!


Dili said...

You've been haging arond with Pissu havent you? :) Jokes aside, I'll tell you the exact same thing I told PP

A scream in the ear, an elbow in the eye, a knee in the crotch and things like this will never happen to you again. :) You would have the support of the other passengers im sure.

But I guess all things considered you did do the right, SAFE thing. Though the above would have been fun, dont you think. :P

Anyhow its really sick that people have degraded themselves to this level. I cant understand how they can even consider doing something like that in the 1st place. Must have some neurons wired upside down or summat.

Anonymous said...

All men are Jerks Some times..
Some men are Jerks All the time..
But All men will never be Jerks All the time..

pissu perera said...

it sucks to go through those doesn't it?

i know what you mean about your reaction. something like that happened to me a while back and instead of screaming and shouting like i always thought i would, i quietly got off the bus leaving the perv to jerk off in the bus.

Minna said...

Oh dear!
I know how you feel, the second scenario happened to me too! and a few other scenarios, but never on the same day. Makes you feel violated just as you said it.

But then again it's difficult to stand up for yourself, not knowing what the reaction would be from the rest of the passengers and the conductor etc. In a way that's bad because the pervs are not getting a good bashing, which would make them think twice the next time around. Pretty sad situ.
However, I once managed to stamp (very inconspicously) on such a perv's foot, while wearing a very sharp heel!hehe

Lady divine said...

I've heard enough and more about these incidents.. disgusting! no wonder society never gets any better!! ONLY worse! sigh...

I seldom travel by bus...being a spoilt kid by nature abd birth I'd say...

Once was heading home after classes by bus on a weekend.. as the vehicle was in the garage.. the conductor decided to rub himself hard against me and kept doing it.. Thankfully the next halt was where I was to get off.. So I pushed him aside with all my might.. He thought I lost my temper (which i actually did) and quickly avoided me and went to the front of the bus..
I think he got scared.. coz I pushed him real hard.. and then got off..:D

and ofcourse, had a gooooood shower later on as I felt disgusted the whole day u know... damn these men!

Java Jones said...

Carrying a largish pin might help. Just imagine him rubbing his crotch on your shoulder only to get his hard-on pricked proper!!!

Scrumpulicious said...

It's sad when people like this fulfill the expectations set and we just become accustomed to it! Pervs will be pervs - we just have to try and avoid them. :)

Angel said...

Dili, Pissu : I remember shuddering at that particular post! Dili, I wish I could have reacted in that dramatic way, but survival instincts kicked in.., PP, I know you know what is feels like... sigh...

Chaarmax : so only jerks jerk off in public?

Minna : good for you! I hope it hurt!

LD : I know the feeling... couldn't wait for a shower!

Java : I shall keep that in mind... maybe a syringe? That way I can tell him that he's been infected with a terrible disease!

Scrumplicious : too true :(

Anonymous said...

Err yeah.. unless you know of any others?

XandriaRavenheart said...

You should have spoken out...I know it's hard for Srilankan women to do that, the popular saying being, "to be seen not heard" (same goes for the kids mind you) I was first sexually harassed when I was 13 (a tiny, immature kid) I was scared that day, and didn't speak out...but I vowed to myself that I would never ever let a man treat me like that...which is what led me to the whole feminist movement and activism and so on (19 now! So I can finally do what I want ;) ) Anyways, you can report sexual harassment, however insignificant you might think it is...
Penal Code (Amendment) act no: 22, under section 345...any verbal or physical abuse can be punished from up to 3 to five years...(or fined, depends on you) whether it be in the streets or your work place or on the can even inform him that...My personal advice ;) keep a nice portable umbrella at's very ladylike to use an umbrella (my one's pink ;)) against sexual predators lol Don't ever ever be scared...know that's how we were raised...but it's time to change that :)
Rami ;)

Angel said...

Xandria : thanks for the info and the vote of confidence!