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!