So at first I wasn’t sure if I should share this story. But as I’ve mentioned a few times in my personal posts, I find writing about it helps me work through my emotions. I just want to say at the outset that I wasn’t harmed, and I did get home safe. As many of you know, I’ve spent the last 3 weeks overseas and been having an incredible time. I returned back to Melbourne on Tuesday (25th). Flying from Tokyo to Melbourne is about an 11 hour flight, and by the time I arrived at Melbourne airport I was absolutely knackered. I decided to catch a cab. To get back home normally i would have had to take the SkyBus (about 40 minute drive to the city), then catch a train and then a 15 minute walk home. So cab it was.
After a long wait at the taxi stand I’m directed to a cab, and get in. Usually I sit at the front of the cab with the driver, but this time something told me to sit at the back. So I did, and I’m really glad I did. As we drive off my cabbie is really chatty. He begins to ask me where I visited and I told him Japan. As soon as I mention Japan he starts talking about girls getting dropped and how they take pictures up their skirts. It’s not a subject I know a lot about so I just mentioned that they had women only carriages and other initiatives to protect women. He then begins to talk about the porn industry in general and also different fetishes. By this point, I’m just thinking he’s talking generally, and it’s nothing to be worried about.
He then starts asking me about if I had a boyfriend, and I responded no. He began to ask me when the last time I had a boyfriend was, and I said I dated someone a few years ago. His response was “damn you haven’t had sex in ages! You’re just like me!” This is when alarm bells began to sound. He then started to talk about how lonely he was, and how horny he was. For a few moments I was really shocked, but then I went into a survival(?) mode where my emotions shut down and my brain was working out the best way to get out of there quickly. So I began to respond to his questions with yes or no, and had my hand on my phone the entire time, ready to speed dial my mum if anything happened. After about 20 minutes of me responding ‘yes’ and ‘no’, at a traffic light he turns around, leans towards me and whispers “I’m ready for a round with you right now if you want.” I almost vomitted.
He began to ask me if I drink or do drugs. I told him ‘no’ to both, and his response was “I love clean girls like you”. I’m pretty sure he also told me that he could hook me up with some drugs if I wanted to. By this point we were about 10 minutes from my apartment and I was getting increasingly terrified. He again asked me if I wanted him to come up to my room “for a round”, I said “no, I don’t want to”, he asked me why, and I figured best course of action was not to offend him. I said I was tired from the flight, stressed and just wanted to go to sleep. He said that “I can work out all the tension in your body.” I gripped my phone even harder, and wondered if I would get out of this cab safe.
Finally we pulled up near my apartment, He asked if I wanted his number, and I quickly got it, so I could leave. I had the door open even before we stopped so I could dash out if needed. He then asked a third time if he could come up, I said no and his response was “aww but I’ve been a good boy.” He gave me his number, and I quickly ran in to the apartment complex with my 40kg luggage. I waited near some bushes until I heard him drive away and then I went inside my apartment. I phoned my mum to tell her what happened and all my fear exploded and I burst into tears.
I couldn’t understand what I did to be treated that way. I was sleep deprived, I hadn’t showered in over 24 hours, I was wearing my oversized jumper and baggy pants (which I call my garbage pants). There was nothing about me which would signal to the most deluded person I was “ready for a round”. I felt so sick that I could be sexualised and objectified when I just wanted a cab ride to go home. I wrote a complaint to the cab company, and passed on his phone number. I also phoned up to follow up. Even though he kept saying “this is the first time I’ve done something like this, I just feel a real connection with you”, I think that’s bullshit. What scared me more was when I told this to my friends, most of them actually had similar experiences!
Throughout my life I’ve had a number of near death experiences. One of which I fell into a river and was dragged downstream, almost drowning. I was more scared in that cab, than I was drowning in that river. When I was in the river I knew I could survive, I knew I had the strength to pull myself out of the river. In the cab, I was sleep deprived, weak and vulnerable.