Mumbling, Stumbling, Following

It was about 7am and I was doing my daily routine. Get up real early, stop and get a coffee, go to King George Station skytrain to columbia transfer and then off to school I go. I never have any issues, my dad taught me how to take care of myself. There was a guy and I have anxieties towards brown people for personal reasons but I’m working really hard on not pushing them into a group of all pigs. He was slurring his words but it was a Wednesday I thought either he was on drugs or handicap because I’ve dealt with drugs and disabilities my whole life. I wasn’t going to be rude because of any of that so we had small talk on the skytrain. At Columbia he continued to follow me, because I take the same route everyday and love to socialize I know all the regular staff working at the stations so I knew how to get the securities attention without him noticing after he fell down the stairs on me which I would like to add I haven’t used stairs since because I’m so tiny and he was a full grown man. Turned out he was actually drunk. He didn’t smell like booze and the thought didn’t cross my mind considering it was a Wednesday morning at 7am all connecting lines are the most dangerous because that’s where all the stations can meet up.. Male, brown, leather jacket, spiked hair

Hairy Situations

About a year ago I was on the 210 to Phibbs Exchange when I felt a sudden tug to one or two hairs at the back of my head, like someone was trying to pull out my hair. When I turned around, I saw the man behind me quickly tug his hands back to his lap and look out the window inconspicuously. I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt at first, because it seemed ridiculous that someone would want to take my hair, but when I leaned forward and watched our reflection in the windows, I saw him slowly creep his way back to resting his hands on the back of my headrest, inching his fingers closer. I felt really uncomfortable about confronting him about it, so I just leaned way further forward in my seat and pretended it wasn’t happening until we both got off the bus at Phibbs exchange. I found myself wondering if I should tell the bus driver, or call someone about it, but wondered what a bus driver could even do about such an obscure problem.

More recently, about a month back, I was standing on the millennium holding onto a pole when things got a bit crowded. A man started getting super close to me. I thought this could just be due to the lack of space, but he put both his hands onto the pole on either side of me, so his arms were surrounding me, and pushed up close so that his pelvis was pushed up against my butt. Once again I felt super uncomfortable about confronting the man and did nothing. As soon as the train stopped and people shifted I moved away from the man.

Don’t Stand So Close To Me

Today, I was travelling from Vancouver to the SFU Surrey campus. This incident began at the Waterfront station.

I had just got onto the expo line train to king George at around 1pm, and it just so happened that the car I entered was completely empty. I was carrying a big heavy black bag, as well as a bulky camera bag and a tripod, also in a bag. I was headed towards the end of the car to a two seater (so that I would not be in the way of travellers who would later board). However, just as I was about to put my 3 big bags down, a man who looked to be around 50-60 years old, with a big white beard, big turban on, and dark sunglasses came up almost immediately behind me, and this action just made me highly suspicious as to why he wants to sit in my immediately vicinity in an empty train.

I Immediately turned around and headed to the centre of the train, upon which he asked, “aren’t you going to sit down?” And I pretty much politely said no and say right in the middle of the middle row, making sure I had him in my sights. I then took out my phone and called my boyfriend and told him loudly that I didn’t feel safe, and continued talking to him until the train eventually filled up with other passengers. He and I both remained until I almost reached my destination. I got off early and phoned a friend to meet me and then continued the journey.

Did I overreact?
I found it extremely odd and also uncomfortable when he was about to sit next to me in an empty train. Fyi I am also a pretty petite, Chinese girl. I have simply heard so many stories about girls and women being taken advantage of – molested, groped, etc. and I also had no interest in talking to anyone, being quite tired from having to lug such a heavy load around. Better safe than sorry?

Terrible Tag-Team

I just got called a “fucking bitch” because I didn’t engage a guy in conversation as he was following me trying to say hello. Then when I told him that that was rude and unnecessary and I just don’t want to have a conversation, he blew up in my face and started yelling at me and calling me names. Then I got on the bus and he did too and he and the bus driver started talking about how rude I was and what a bitch I was and how much of a nice guy that guy is. So I got off the bus and am so pissed off.

Left Out In The Cold

I hopped on the 325 bus yesterday outside Chermside Library to head toward Geebung Station when I was told off by the bus driver for not smiling at her. When I realised she was talking to me; as I had wondered in absentmindedly and tapped on without really thinking about it, I went went back to ask her to explain herself to which she demanded I show some polite courtesy and acknowledge she actually stopped to pick me up. When I tried to explain that just because I had forgotten to smile did not give her the right to make snide remarks to a customer she told me and I quote, ” Just remember I did not have to pick you up”. When I asked her what that was suppose to mean she refused to give me an answer instead she requested I take my seat and made an effort to whistle tunelessly for the rest of the journey. I was waiting at the right bus stop, I was not behaving drunk and disorderly, I had tapped on before taking a seat and had only made enquiries pertaining to her offensive behavior. I had to stand in the rain and wait for the bus for 40 minutes because the first bus I hailed down refused to stop for me. So unless I’m mistaken she was implying she didn’t have to pick black people like me up so I should be grateful and keep quiet when she throw jeers at me in front of other passengers. Of course she only gave me a smiled when I asked and refused to say anymore after that so its anybodies guess.

Wandering Hands (32/F)

I am a 32 years old female. Today, I got on the Expo line skytrain going to work downtown. After few minutes I felt something touching my genitalia area when the train stoped. I ignored it once as I thought it could be someone’s purse. When it happened for the second time, I looked down and saw the figures of an Asian man who was standing in front of me. All I did at that time was I moving away to be as far from him as possible. The guy was in his mid-40s. I think he got on the train on 29th or Nanaimo station.

Race(ist) to the Bottom (29/f)

I was riding the Skytrain at approximately 10pm on a Monday night, when the train rolled into Commercial Drive on the way to Waterfront, and an old Caucasian man with white hair came on board.  The man wore all black, with a black baseball hat and a black backpack.  I didn’t notice him until later, as I had my earphones on and was listening to music, but in between the pauses, I could hear him speaking quite loudly to no one in particular.  Every few seconds I could hear him say the f word followed by the chink word.

There were around 15 other people on the train with me, all from different races, and no one seemed to be paying him any attention, but as his rambling went on they also got louder and more profane.

So after a few minutes, I turned off my music to listen to him and this is what he said, “You f-ing chink better take your money and go back to where you came from, cause we’re going to f-ing beat you and take it from you…  Don’t belong here…  There’s no cops on the train, I’m going to f-ing beat you.”

There was a lot worse and it scared me because I am Chinese and female, and he was looking straight at me when he said those words.

I’ve lived my whole life in Canada, grew up from a poor family, and worked hard to get where I’m at.  I’ve dealt with racism and sexual harassment before, in all kinds of situations and from different people.  But this time, I was deeply scared for myself because I didn’t know what was going to happen and what to do.

I pulled out my phone to call the Transit Non-Emergency Line, but I had forgotten that there is no reception at Granville Station.

At Burrard Station, I quickly got out and to my dismay, so did he and he was following me.  I looked for a Skytrain attendant to inform them that there was someone making violent threats, but there was no one around.

I’m not a confrontational person, so I did the cowardly thing and ran home, while constantly looking behind me.

I believe that the man probably had some mental instability, or was highly drunk, but that doesn’t negate how serious his threats were or how frightened I was at the time.

I truly love Vancouver and its people, but after travelling solo in many different countries, Vancouver is still the only place that I feel unsafe to travel at night.

If Translink wants to make people feel safe while using their services, they should always have an attendant at each station.  Why should I have to call the non-emergency line for help and wait for them to arrive, when someone should already be there at the station?

Translink Things to Note:
1) Granville Station – no reception
2) Have an attendant at each station, even at night
3) Have the attendant watch for violent/illegal behaviours and prevent them from boarding the trains.  I saw the old man smoking on the platforms just before he got on, but there were no attendants at Commercial Drive
4) Have working turnstiles