A Man Followed Me and Other Women On a Bus and This Is What I Did

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 Andrea Lo 0 Comments

Yesterday, a man followed me and other women around on the bus. This is what I did.

I got on a bus in Wong Chuk Hang, headed for Sheung Wan. When I sat down, a man next to me turned to me and started talking to me. He looked like he was in his 20s and had on a navy T-shirt and beige shorts. He started off with saying hello multiple times, then was talking in gibberish, so I ignored him. He continued staring at me, so I decided to move upstairs. 

A few minutes later, someone parked himself on the seat next to me. It was him. I immediately felt my pulse racing. He was sitting really close, making a speedy escape almost impossible.

The bus arrived in Pokfulam near where I live and I thought about getting off and going home. 

As is the case when I'm in any kind of sticky situation, I escalate it from 0 to 100 in my head. The bus stop on Pokfulam Road was a short walk from my building, but it involved going through a quiet, shaded path. What if he followed me off the bus? What if he attacked me???

I instinctively did one of the things I do when I don't know what to do: text E and C on WhatsApp group chat. E told me to stay calm and said if he follows me again, I need to tell him not to. 

When the bus stopped, I got up. 'Are you getting off the bus? Are you getting off the bus? Are you getting off the bus?' He asked me. I made a mad dash towards the back of the bus, right in the middle of where a group of people were sitting.

A few minutes later, I saw him walk up the aisle and staring straight at me. He pointed at the seat next to me while walking up to me.

I said, as loudly as possible, 'Can you please stop following me  otherwise I am going to call the police.' This drew the attention of most passengers around me and he moved on to sit two rows behind me.

I was pretty fidgety and uneasy. I prayed and prayed for the bus to go faster. 

About 10 minutes later, a passenger in front of me exited, leaving a girl sitting alone. I see the man who followed me come up and squeeze in next to her. I immediately grabbed the girl and told her to come sit next to me. Aged around 18 or possibly 30  you never know because Chinese women generally don't age until they suddenly do  she looked confused and terrified. I whispered to her that he had been following me and told her to be careful. 

This caused another stir on the bus. The girl and I sat in frightened silence together when she suddenly said: 'Thank you so much' when we reached Bonham Road.

The bus got to Sai Ying Pun and the girl told me that was her stop. I decided to go downstairs. I spot an elderly woman sitting alone and asked if I could sit next to her. I explained what happened. She smiled warmly and told me not to worry. 'He is obviously chi sin [cray cray],' she said and gestured at her head. Another elderly woman next to her chimed in. "He has been doing that for the entire journey, moving to sit next to women. He told me to sit next to him when I got on the bus," she said. 

The two of them circled around the same point over and over again about creepy men and mental illness the way old ass Chinese women do until we got off the bus. Before I got off, however, I decided to go up to the driver and tell him what happened.

After the incident I thought a lot about personal safety, especially as a woman.

Thankfully, this was a one-off situation. I have always boasted to friends abroad that I have never felt anything less than completely safe here in Hong Kong. I'm comfortable doing a lot of things here alone that I would be hesitant to do in other big cities. It did make me think that I can get as ratchet as I want and act as feminist as I want, but at the end of the day, dealing with a threatening situation alone as a woman is challenging no matter what.