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?

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