Marie shared that she was disturbed by this man on the train.
This is what she wrote:
So just a few weeks ago on Christmas Day, I was heading back after a morning yoga session (I was no longer in my yoga clothes and it’s 2018, my clothes are irrelevant) and had boarded the Downtown line at Telok Ayer. It was 12pm in the afternoon and brightly lit as our MRT trains are. There were people on board, not packed like it usually is in the mornings, but I wasn’t alone.
It wasn’t till I was at Mattar Station that I looked up from my phone and made eye contact with a random man sitting on my side of the seats, right beside the reserved seat, just as I was, but on the other end. It was awkward, as it usually is with strangers on public transport, but it doesn’t end there.
Now that I’ve seen him, I notice him from my peripheral vision as I continue to use my phone. And from that, I notice him continuing to stare at me. Then move to the seat directly opposite me and a few seconds later, move to the same side as me, just TWO seats away from me.
At this point I was on high alert. I felt nervous, uncomfortable, so much so that I literally felt my throat close up as I furiously texted Leo. I immediately started questioning everything. ‘Is it what Im wearing?’ ‘Am I not sitting ‘properly’ with my legs closed?’ But the worst question I asked myself was ‘am I just imagining things?’ I mean after all, it’s pretty damn arrogant to think that some random person was just so interested in staring at you.
And I say it’s the worst because in that second, I VERY NEARLY wanted to feign ignorance and just pretended I didn’t notice him. And that soon changed to anger, as I realized I shouldn’t allow this piece of scum on the train to make me feel so upset and uncomfortable.
So as he continued to stare at me, 2 seats away, I snap my head up to stare back at him and as I do it, he whips his head in the opposite direction as if he wasn’t even long in my direction in the first place! Exactly like those guilty dogs in those videos where they’re caught doing something wrong. Because he WAS guilty. That’s when I noticed he was holding his phone really awkwardly on his lap. With the camera directed at me. (ps pervs out there, it is SUPER obvious when you’re trying to be inconspicuous with your phone, please don’t even try)
And I got so mad at him, that I used MY phone to give him a taste of his own medicine. I turned the camera on him, as you’ll see below, and I knew then that I wasn’t just imagining things. He turned back to look at me and got up and moved to the next cabin. Away from me, but guess what? STILL STARING AT ME THE REST OF MY RIDE.
I was blinking back angry tears and feeling upset I couldnt do anything more because I literally didn’t know the right procedure. Do I call 999??? Do I press the emergency button in the cabin?? I did neither. And just before I got off the train, eager to escape this creep, the girl who was sitting next to me the entire time, taps me and shows me her phone. She had written a note warning me about the guy in blue!! That just reassured me I really WASN’T imagining it.
In that completely shitty 15 mins of that train ride, that interaction made me feel hopeful and I felt happy and touched that this girl was looking out for me?! Shoutout to her because she made me feel SO much better. Exiting the train, I watched behind to check if the guy exited too. He didn’t, but the last image i have of him is him staring at me through the window, his whole body turned to look at me.
I burst into tears afterwards because I’m angry and upset that I was made to feel so disgusting. Angry that I felt DIRTY. No, he did not physically assault me (trust me, this would’ve gone way worse for him if that was he case) – he didn’t even need to, but you have no idea how it feels like a bit of my soul died immediately after.
I still remember his face and I think for a pretty long time, I’m going to remember it and how this random stranger in the train made me feel during the longest train ride of my life.
Anyway, I made a police report afterwards and they didn’t take the video I have of him so I’ve decided to upload it here so everyone can look out for themselves.
It was also only at the police station that i learnt that if I was ever in a situation like this again, that I should CALL 999 and inform them of which line and which direction my train was heading in and they’ll dispatch the trans com officers to your cabin to assist.
Cherry on top of this whole experience was that while lodging the report, I –
1. Was asked what I was wearing when it happened
2. Had to speak to male officers whom I feel didn’t really understand exactly how shitty I felt
I was angry right after for letting him get away with it. There are still a lot of ‘I SHOULD HAVEs’ in my head with regards to what happened. I wish I had grabbed him and dragged him to the control station. I wish I had yelled at him and shamed him in public. I wish I stood up to him PROPERLY.
Because this wasn’t the first time this has happened to me but it was the only time I actually did something about it. Even if he wasn’t physically arrested or anything.
It’s not much but at least I feel a little bit more relieved, and more proud of myself for standing up to this one and not like the time when my friend and I were flashed at from the void deck from the next block while going home, or when an old man was staring at a friend and I, touching himself right beside us while we were seated in the bus – Ive finally SORT OF stood up to this one creep.
TL;DR: please call 999 if you’re ever in a situation like this. And extend a helping hand if you ever notice anyone caught in a situation like that.
Posted by Marie Constance Tan on Friday, 12 January 2018
Posted by Marie Constance Tan on Friday, 12 January 2018
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