Yup. I just dropped a big word. But really though, respect is like common courtesy.
Yesterday something bad happened.
I was reading my book in the train, on my way to Cineleisure Orchard. I wanted to ensure that I was in a less crowded space so I moved towards the centre of the carriage where there was a pole, and I leaned against it. Everything was going well until a man, who was seated diagonally to my right, whipped out his phone to take a picture of me – well at that point of time, I wasn’t quite sure if it was me or something else.
I can’t exactly blame him because sometimes I do take pictures with other people in it. But, at least I was discreet about it..? He directed his camera at me for a good two minutes and I really tried to get it off my mind and be absorbed by my book.
As if one picture was not enough, when he was taking a wefie with his friend on his right, he turned his entire body around so that I would be in the photo as well. At this point I was irritated. I quickly used my book as a shield for my face while I curse in my mind.
I was two stops away from my destination and thus I started moving towards the door. I glanced over to check that he remained seated. And he was still on the bench. “Thank God, ” I secretly said to myself, and went back to my book.
The doors were closing at the next stop when I felt someone grab and slide his hand down my shoulder. I turnt around to see the same person. Not even trying to apologise for what he just did. I was furious. But my rational mind was there to stay, and I just focused on my breathing.
I quickly got off the next stop and checked that he was not getting off. And guess what? He went back to the bench.
I don’t know if it is acceptable from where he comes from. But I don’t think that any culture would condone that kind of behaviour..?
I was lucky that he only touched my shoulder, yet it got me into thinking about the what ifs. What if it wasn’t just the shoulder?
Have you encountered a situation where you felt like someone wasn’t giving you the basic respect that you deserve?