Tuesday, January 13, 2009

78 - Inappropriate physical contact with strangers in public

Oh, mother.
A minibus (pictured above), a train and a bus are my modes of transport each and every morning. It takes about an hour to get to school if I don't stop for breakfast on the way and provided that the trains don't take too long. Often, on the train, I look at the people. Hongkongers are very unique and altogether, the public is able to create a very diverse and interesting city to live in.

Very frequently, I get inspiration for this blog while on the train, but I have to say, today's topic upset me so much more than anything else and would definitely go in my top ten list of pet peeves (if I made one).

One day, around a year ago, I had had a relatively abysmal day at school due to a lot of repetitive nudging of my chair from behind and a great deal of watching people fidgeting in class. Also, someone had just sent me an impromptu invitation to see a movie, which I couldn't possibly go to, because I had promised I'd go help my mother pick out hideous Crocs. Of course, the turnstile was obstructed by some dumb ol' kid as I approached it to enter the train station.

It was the afternoon/evening rush hour where everybody's finished work/school and so the train station and incidentally the train were really, really crowded. And that's when the, uh, in appropriate physical contact happened.

So, the doors of the train open and I join in with the mass of people surging into the train, filling up as much space as possible inside the train compartment. The doors closed and I am stuck there, completely immobile except for my ability to turn and tilt my head perhaps.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see the guy standing on my right, who has his chest and stomach pressed up against my side. He was in a student's uniform, probably 18 or 19, wore thick black frames and had lots of acne on his face. He was disgusting, not because of his looks, but because of his acne, and he also had a thin layer of dandruff sprinkled all over his head. (And just as an aside, I am superficial like that when it comes to appearances, at least on first impression when I'm around strangers who have their entire torso in close contact with my arm.)

I was quite repulsed by this man, because of his uncleanliness, and I could see that there was space behind him which he could have stepped into instead. So, I subtlety shouldered him to encourage him to take a step back, but no, no, this guy wouldn't budge and he had intentions of, uh, touching me. In fact, after I nudged him, he moved even closer towards me, with his left leg then touching my right. He was purposefully rubbing his body against mine and slyly disguising his movements as leaning so as to counteract the train's moving, but I was not fooled. He was being particularly physical with purpose.

I pushed him a second time, this time more obviously, obvious enough that any stranger who may not have been in the know would have backed away. He knew what he was doing, and he resisted the pressure I put on to him. And that's when I felt his ... excitement on my leg. This guy was humping my leg.

I was so in shock, at least initially. I didn't think people actually did that. I waited until we reached the next stop.

The train arrived at my station and came to a halt and just as quickly as the influx took, the outflow of people speedily stepped off the train one by one and just as the pervert was reaching his climax, God forbid, I turned toward him, swore at him and used all the force I could gather to shove him—hard. He lost his balance and gravity pulled him to the floor. He probably went into momentary shock too and perhaps took a while to look up, but how would I know ... I was gone.

If any of you are about to say I'm mean ... keep in mind that I felt his erection on my leg. ;)


Anonymous said...

OH - MY - GOD.
not mean at all! I'd have done the same.

I once had the unfortunate experience of standing in a crowded london tube when, as the doors were closing behind me a guy jumped on - literally onto me. the carriage was so jammed you didn't need to hold on as there was no way you could've fallen down and this guys crotch was pressed up against my butt! no need to say what i felt, was scarred for life after that, now I always stand with my bum against someone elses back :)

Prash said...

I don't call you "mean". What you did was right (swearing at him)...I can imagine the frustration you were in those few minutes (which would've looked to you as hours, btw) before the next station came. I know what it means, I had such an encounter in a bus in India ! I just shouted "child-molester" but who did understand English in that bus ? NONE except my cousin who was far away and came running to save me. He was thrown out of the bus immediately...

btw, 18-19 you call him "man" ? for me he is "boy" lol

I hardly take the public transport in HK...I should try to see such things !

Anonymous said...

This has happened to me many. many. many. many. times.

IS there something about me that says 'come feel me up on the train, I will let you'??

Michael said...

Vivenne: You know, your horrible situation with the crotch pressed up against you reminds me very well of what this blog is all about. You obviously hate this too, and I love that you were scarred for life. :D

Prash: Let's just call him "pervert". He's too disgraceful to be a man, and not innocent enough to be a boy. I prefer not to scream, 'cause my screams are kind of girly and I'm not the one I want to embarrass, hehe.

LittleJ: If the guy was perhaps a bit cleaner, I wouldn't have minded. I know you'd understand. :)

Linda S. Socha said...

HMMMM I have to confess. I am glad to be driving a car!!

Anonymous said...

totally, high five!
isn't it odd how it's always the teachers pet/wall flower that in later years turns into a slut?

i had one of those in my class, she was the best at everything, mousy looking girl. then 2 years later she died her hair peroxide blonde, failed all subjects and is now bar staff in a club in tenerife.
last time i went home i saw her at teh club and said hi - she blanked me as if she didn't know me!!

Everyday Housewife said...

Gee, I am so naive to think that only happen to us ladies. I am glad that most of the times I don't have to take public transport during peak hours.

Anonymous said...

Have tried the MTR a few times. Fortunately, every time, it wasn't that crowded... That's so disgusting. But funny he's brave enough to do that.

Randa said...

Wow. That must have been traumatizing. We have university buses here and they get pretty packed but I've never had anything like that happen to me before.

I think you did the right thing. And maybe a quick knee jab to the crotch would have been totally appropriate.


Short Stick said...

oh my god dude that is so fucked up! i can't believe that happened to you. that dude was a fucking weirdo.

Comic Superzero said...

That's pretty gross, not going to lie. Good for you for shoving him. Only a perv would do that. Boners in public, fine. But the last thing you want to do is poke and rub it all over someone.

In all seriousness, I would've slugged him in the face.

Charli said...


Wait - you didn't say if you got an erection too?

Not to imply something. It's just that, well, you know.

Okay. Kidding. You said he wasn't that hot, so of course you didn't get an erection.

I am so sorry to hear about how you were violated. (And seriously, that's really what this was.) I hope you have a good therapist.

gaf85 said...

M, That story totally creeped me out. I'm so sorry you had to go thru that. Many females have experienced being gropped in public,myself included. It must be hard to preserve any sense of space in an urban environment especially involving public transportation.

Louise said...

"He was disgusting, not because of his looks, but because of his acne..." -ahahahahaha! Good one.

I would not have laughed so hard if it were a handsome guy humping on your leg. But he was ugly. Oh, God. You're one unlucky guy Michael.

Homos freak me out. You should have hit him... And called him gay.


Anonymous said...


i have never encountered anyone as perverted as that guy, what the hell!-lucky for me.


Toivoa ja Elämän said...

=/ disturbing.
our public transport rarely gets that crowded, maybe when the Christmas pageant in town is on, but not so much. India, however. Eugh.
Although thankfully, I've never had that experience...

Michael said...

Linda: Short comment, but very smart and funny.

Vivienne: I'd like to be one student that changes in the opposite direction.

Everyday Housewife: I could wake up earlier to miss the rush hour. I would do that.

Ares: Funny, no. Brave, yes. I mean, yeah, pretty risky. He has no idea who he's messin' with.

Randa: As Phil suggested after your comment, I should have landed one on to his acne-covered face.

Phil: I shiver when I hear my story expressed differently in your words.

Charli: I can deal with it on my own, but I do have a pretty good social worker (came with my parents' divorce).

gaf85: I know. Sort of strange.

Louise: I am bisexual and have many gay friends myself so I am slightly surprised by your comment. Calling him gay would have been a bit too abrasive.

hrix: I had a (female) friend who had some guy rub his bare leg on her bare leg on a public bus. Hong Kong is ... scary.

Larissa: I can only imagine what it must feel like to be in India.

Rosalie Bass said...

I unfortunately get a lot of physical contact from strangers everyday. The hallways in my school are really narrow, so just about every class period, I either get jammed in the elbow, shoved, walked into, or have random body parts brush up against me, sometimes in inappropriate places.

It blows that you had that train incident with the pervert. You could take it as a compliment, though; obviously he thought you were smoking hot. And now you have a great story to tell at parties! "I gave this random guy an erection on the train once...-"

Louise said...

You're... bisexual?

Ok I don't mind since you're smart. No wonder you complain a lot - which explains why you have a blog about all your hates and complaints.

I don't think it's too abrasive 'coz he would've deserved it.


Michael said...

Rosalie: Your school reminds me of my own and crowded schools are just horrible. And you're right, I have told the story quite a number of times.

Louise: If you read my very first blog, my introduction explains the purpose of this blog, a little. But in case you don't click it, in a nutshell, I want to practice writing and hate is universal and interesting. I do not complain because I'm bisexual. I do not write this blog to complain.

And calling someone 'gay' is a very low and wrong insult. It is abrasive.

Louise said...

Okay sorry. No offense there. I forgot I'm a girl and you're a boy. I would have said that if I were in your place - as a girl. Peace!

Bullshee said...

Ewwww.....I mean.....ewwww.....just....ewww....

Damn, if you've not been emotionally scarred by this, congratualations!

Michael said...

Hahaha. I'm fine, I'm fine. It's all just human nature.