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.

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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

Lady in Fear

in the year 2006 or 2007 I don’t  remember well I took the train from Broadway to  Nanaimo , I used to lived about 4 blocks away from the station. that evening I walked about two blocks down and two or three young men followed me from the station and  insulted me  for being black , I was told to get lost from here to return to Africa where slaves were . They hit me so hard and threatened me  to hit me worse if  the police was  warned . I was told they  knew who I am and where my  house was located. They told me that if they see something strange around my house they will kill me . That experience was so bad that I end up in the hospital took exams in the face, but was never able to denounce . Today when I find this blog I realize that the situation would have been different if I had dared to denounce, those damn misfits are everywhere , and for someone like me who was  fleeing the violence of my country was even worse . that period of time  was so hard specially  because I left a country where violence against women is at high levels, to meet these cowards here. I hate not having the courage to denounce , but now at least I can write about it.

It was very painful to see my face completely swollen I know time has passed and there is nothing We can do but I also know that, that experience was so traumatic that sometimes I still have dreams with them

What’s the Matter with Kids Today? (Oh, they don’t want to talk to creepy old dudes!) (17/f)

I was on my way home from a bonfire one night. It was around midnight, but since it was a Friday, there were a lot of people taking the bus from Ambleside back to their homes. I was standing on a crowded bus when a group of 3, 4 girls who looked like they couldn’t be older than 16 came on the bus and then stood near me. There was a middle-aged, rather dishevelled looking man sitting in front of them who seemed to be checking the girls out. After a little while, he started talking to them. He said something along the lines of “Where’s a group of pretty young ladies like you heading off to this late at night?” and the girls seemed very uncomfortable and didn’t respond. He kept pestering them with questions, eventually saying, “Stop ignoring me, I’m just trying to have a conversation with you girls.”
I ended up telling him to back off because the girls were obviously too scared to do so (but he didn’t sound like he was going to back off any time soon without any prompt), and he started to verbally attack me, calling me racial slurs like “slant-eyes” and “chink” and eventually, another middle-aged man said, “Enough,” and the man grumbled about “stupid teens these days” and got off at the next stop.

Felonious Feline Imagery (23/F)

Last Saturday i was at the Royal Oak Sky Train Station at around 6:20pm  when this a man (around late 20’s early 30s) started staring at me uncomfortably and walking towards me. He was very short (around 5’3), Caucasian, had short blonde hair and he started saying things to me like “hello sexy kitty,” “aren’t you a sexy kitty,”  “meow,” and trying to walk behind me. I was very freaked out because I thought he might look up my skirt or grope me. As I was validating my ticket, he continually harassed me and started saying things like “I bet you’re a beautiful pussy” and other things along those lines. As I was walking up the stairs I noticed that he was touching and rubbing his crotch and he kept trying to come back and talk to me.  I noticed that he was going the same direction as me so I didn’t want to be on the same sky train as him so I walked to the other side, purposely walking far away from him so he wouldn’t follow me. The asshole still doesnt back off and  he walks to where I was at and starts harassing me again. I told him he should stop as he is making me feel very uncomfortable. At this point he was still rubbing his crouch very fervently.  Then the train pulls in to go East bound, he says to me, “ I really wish I can fuck you. You are so sexy, “ and “Asian persuasion.”

I felt soo disgusted, but the next time this ever happens to me, i am going to stand up for myself and tell him to fuck off and don’t harass women anymore. I feel that men like him harass women because he thinks that we are too timid and we are easy preys. The next time someone ever does that around me, I am going to say to him ” do you enjoy harassing women cuz your a scumbag and you should fuck off.”

Punches and Hunches (30/F)

Story 1.
I was at the Sperling Skytrain with my roommate early one evening and we noticed a rather large Native male in the bus loop. He flicked his roach away (he had just finished smoking pot) and walked up to a group of older Asian ladies and started screaming at them to “go back home” and to “shove their umbrellas up their c***ts.”, calling them racial names. He was circling then and he got right into their faces screaming at them and was obviously terrifying them. I couldn’t just watch so I made my way over to a bus waiting at a stop across the loop and he realized that I was going to report him so he raced up to me and got in my face calling me a “dumb bitch”, “c***t”, telling me he could “rape me right here if he wanted to” which completely terrified me. I gathered all the courage I could muster and when I told him that I wasn’t afraid of him he punched me hard in my shoulder. The bus driver opened his doors to let myself and my roommate in and closed the doors and kept the bus there until the police arrived. The man was hitting and kicking the bus yelling at me to come out and even started threatening the driver. Thankfully the bus driver and passengers were kind and didn’t mind waiting for the police to show up.

Story 2
I was on my way home late one evening (around midnight). I was seated at the back of the bus and minding my own business reading my book. A dark coloured younger guy got on the bus and sat at the back ascross from me. He picked up a water bottle that someone before him had discarded, and while staring at me whipped out his penis and inserted it into the bottle and pissed into it. He threw it out the window and began jiggling in his pants, I looked across again and saw him masturbating. I got up this time and moved to the front of the bus close to the driver and when the guy got off the bus, I told the driver what happened and he told me that I should have let him know what was going on so he could have done something about it. Like many of the other stories, my thinking was “well if he’s that bold to do that, then what else is he capable of?”.

Story 3
This isnt my story but I wanted to put in here that we really should speak up to the drivers/security more. My stepdad is a driver and while out shopping with him one day a lady ran up to him thanking him for saving her. Appearently, she was being harassed on his bus one night, and when she got up to get off his bus, the harasser got off too trying to follow her home. My stepdad parked the bus and walked with her until she felt safe enough on her own.

Other than these stories I, myself have been subject to unwanted touching/advances/close sitters/and other things but haven’t spoken up because I think I’m being too paranoid. Since my first story, I am a little apprehensive to speak up because I don’t want to be violently punched again, I had a bruise for weeks for speaking up for myself and others. Reading other stories, I realize I am not the only one who has been harassed or have had these things happen to them, I feel encouraged to say something now, regardless of what may happen.

thank you for your project… it really brings light to a subject that really needs to have some awareness.