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-   -   Followed almost home from the bus (https://www.englishforum.ch/daily-life/100166-followed-almost-home-bus.html)

sparky101 24.11.2010 11:37

Followed almost home from the bus
 
Two days ago I hopped on the bus to go home after work and some guy started bothering me. He kept trying to talk to me and wouldn't go away. Generally he was behaving very erratically. I got off at my stop and he got off too. I walked quickly in the direction of home and turned a couple of times and saw he was walking in the same direction as me. I thought he might be following me but I was still a little unsure and didn't want to go directly home and lead him there so I popped into the Coop nearby.

Lo' and behold, there he was in the shop too. Still, I thought to myself "don't be paranoid, maybe he just has to go to the shop too". At the till he squeezed out past the people on the next till but I could see him standing outside the shop looking at me so I went back inside. Next thing he comes almost-running through the shop and sees me and then makes a u-turn and goes the other way. I didn't have much doubt that he was following me after that so I went to one of the shop employees and started to explain the situation. He came around the corner and u-turned again and then ran past one more time. I think he ran away after that because there was no sign of him when I did go outside the shop with another shop employee who was kind enough to come out as far as the door to make sure all was ok.

Luckily it all turned out ok, but I think it was all the more unsettling because I generally felt very safe here and in my 10 months here nothing bad has happened at all until this. I'm usually fairly alert but that's more a habit than from a feeling of being unsafe. Although after going to the shop yesterday I was shaking like a leaf because I was (unnecessarily) paranoid about everyone, but I'm sure that will pass in a week or two.

Anyway, I guess I'm wondering if anyone has experienced this kind of thing and what you do/did to fix the situation?

phdoofus 24.11.2010 11:41

Re: Followed almost home from the bus
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sparky101 (Post 1023231)
Anyway, I guess I'm wondering if anyone has experienced this kind of thing and what you do/did to fix the situation?

You listened to your instincts and handled things well. Next time (which I hope you don't have) take a picture and send it to the police.

scrambled 24.11.2010 11:43

Re: Followed almost home from the bus
 
also get some pepper spray

JLF 24.11.2010 11:49

Re: Followed almost home from the bus
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by scrambled (Post 1023240)
also get some pepper spray

or make your own... Get a few of those small peppers from the store (you know, the hot little red ones), puree them up (seeds and all) with a bit of water, and voila! It is ridiculous how effective they are on eyes (for several hours too). And sadly, yes, I have a bit of unintentional experience with this... :msnblush:

Otherwise, if it happens again, I would make a loud scene. The good samaritan in (many of) us will react in your defense.

sparky101 24.11.2010 12:01

Re: Followed almost home from the bus
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JLF (Post 1023243)
or make your own... Get a few of those small peppers from the store (you know, the hot little red ones), puree them up (seeds and all) with a bit of water, and voila! It is ridiculous how effective they are on eyes (for several hours too). And sadly, yes, I have a bit of unintentional experience with this... :msnblush:

Otherwise, if it happens again, I would make a loud scene. The good samaritan in (many of) us will react in your defense.

In hindsight I think I should have made a fuss on the bus, or got off and got back on when I knew he got off too. I'm not good enough at German, so I'd have to make a fuss in english and I'm not sure people would understand what was going on as I'd probably end up speaking quite quickly in the heat of the moment. On the other hand, yesterday I learned from people I work with how to say "pi$$ off" in german :)

NotAllThere 24.11.2010 12:04

Re: Followed almost home from the bus
 
Walking into Basel a few times, my wife and I have encountered, behind the Zoo, a white-haired lady with a fixed grin on her face, who follows us around for a while. We've seen her do it to others.

I think it's some kind of "care in the community". Quite unsettling though.

esto 24.11.2010 12:13

Re: Followed almost home from the bus
 
You did the right thing. You kept your wits about you, stayed in a public place, and got others involved when you felt it was necessary. If the guy was just a nut-job that you had the misfortune of bumping into on the bus, you'll most likely not see him again. But keep an eye over your shoulder the next few weeks just in case. Taking a picture of him with a cellphone could be a good idea if you need to go to the police later (but take any photos discreetly! otherwise you might set him off further)

Yea, I kind of let my gaurd down here in Switzerland too. The first time a stranger passing on the street here smiled and said "Grusse" I didn't know what to make of it. Back in New York if someone comes up to you on the street and says "hello", they usually aren't simply being friendly (ie: walk faster and clutch your wallet ;))

daveAust 24.11.2010 12:13

Re: Followed almost home from the bus
 
next to the zoo there is the so called "fixerstübli", a place where controlled by the state they get their heroin/methadon fix. thats why there are a lot of psychos around that place. but dont bother, they are harmless. if i am a girl/women, i would have an pepperspray though.

JLF 24.11.2010 12:13

Re: Followed almost home from the bus
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sparky101 (Post 1023262)
In hindsight I think I should have made a fuss on the bus, or got off and got back on when I knew he got off too. I'm not good enough at German, so I'd have to make a fuss in english and I'm not sure people would understand what was going on as I'd probably end up speaking quite quickly in the heat of the moment. On the other hand, yesterday I learned from people I work with how to say "pi$$ off" in german :)

Making a scene in any language will elicit a reaction. If you feel uncomfortable, people will see it on your face as you make the scene, and understanding the words is unnecessary at that point...

Carlos R 24.11.2010 12:24

Re: Followed almost home from the bus
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by NotAllThere (Post 1023267)
Walking into Basel a few times, my wife and I have encountered, behind the Zoo, a white-haired lady with a fixed grin on her face, who follows us around for a while. We've seen her do it to others.

I think it's some kind of "care in the community". Quite unsettling though.

In this instance, she's quite harmless. If you actually take the time to smile back at her and greet her, she'll actually go pick on someone else. I guess she has some sort of social interaction difficulties.

Guest 24.11.2010 12:36

Re: Followed almost home from the bus
 
I like how you went somewhere that likely had CCTV cameras. That is a great way of shaking off a stalker. Point to the camera and tell them to smile.

openid 24.11.2010 12:37

Re: Followed almost home from the bus
 
Here are some Keywords and tips for you, it may help

· Self Defense techniques (Karate, Kick boxing)
· Learn to shout VERY loud in public to make that weirdo feel humiliated.
· Fake talk on phone and give a impression to the guy as if you are talking about him and some is coming very soon to set him right.
· Walking into the police station if you feel being followed.
· Find a fighter Boyfriend.
· Last but not least..... I am still thinking :rolleyes:

sparky101 24.11.2010 12:40

Re: Followed almost home from the bus
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Phos (Post 1023308)
I like how you went somewhere that likely had CCTV cameras. That is a great way of shaking off a stalker. Point to the camera and tell them to smile.

That's a good point! I didn't even think of the cameras, all I wanted was to go where people were and there was no way I was going home and risking home knowing him where I live!

Angela-74 24.11.2010 12:40

Re: Followed almost home from the bus
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Carlos R (Post 1023298)
In this instance, she's quite harmless. If you actually take the time to smile back at her and greet her, she'll actually go pick on someone else. I guess she has some sort of social interaction difficulties.

Yep, she's pretty well known. I only saw her once, she scared the hell put of me :S so she decided to stand next to me (just shoot me).
To OP..sorry! It happened to me twice in NL, the first time I had to change my route because the guy knew where I shopped.

sparky101 24.11.2010 12:54

Re: Followed almost home from the bus
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by openid (Post 1023310)
Here are some Keywords and tips for you, it may help

· Self Defense techniques (Karate, Kick boxing)
· Learn to shout VERY loud in public to make that weirdo feel humiliated.
· Fake talk on phone and give a impression to the guy as if you are talking about him and some is coming very soon to set him right.
· Walking into the police station if you feel being followed.
· Find a fighter Boyfriend.
· Last but not least..... I am still thinking :rolleyes:

thanks. I already am trained in karate (although out of practice) and my boyfriend is a ninja (not joking but he doesn't live here so that's no good - i think ;) ). Although the first rule of self-defence is "don't get into a fight" so knowing that stuff should never be necessary if you're alert. Thankfully I was and got out of the situation while keeping to that rule.

I think my biggest issue with it is that I felt/feel like my personal safety bubble has been burst, all the more so because I felt very safe here (overinflated bubble, like the Irish economy perhaps? :p). If this had happened in the last place I lived it wouldn't have shook me so much because I was always on alert there and in many ways had more confidence to tell somone to Foff because at least I could understand what they were saying and assess what was going on a bit better. When you know the person is strange but not what they're saying it makes it much harder to deal with and figure out what the best course of action is.

wattsli1 24.11.2010 13:21

Re: Followed almost home from the bus
 
I think, if we talk "generalisations" Switzerland as a whole is still much safer than a lot of places - you're not that likely to be mugged or have your phone snatched out of your hand in broad daylight or get your house burgled. Not to say such things don't happen - and they may happen more in some places than others, but overall "bad" things don't happen all that often here. So I think you should try and reassure yourself that it is really quite a safe place here.

But of course it's always wise to keep your eyes open, especially as a woman alone out and about. You reacted absolutely perfectly - don't go home, stay calm, go to a public place where there are people and get someone to help you. Well done!

I've had a couple of times coming home on the tram when guys have given me "unwanted attention" so to speak. But mostly it's just harmless chit chat - my line was always making it clear that my husband is waiting for me to get home - and then calling him on the phone (or even just pretending to). It's enough to put off the ones who are just trying to pick you up anyway :msnsarcastic:

Weirdos and stalkers.... well.... I guess they are everywhere. If you feel you want to then it might not be a bad idea to just report it to the police so that they are aware that this guy was out there bothering women (just in case, god forbid, he did something worse to someone else.) especially since they probably have got him on camera in the coop.

I think it's perfectly normal to feel a bit insecure for a while after something like this (I know I did after my "road rage" incident a while back that some of you may remember!) but it will pass. The "safety bubble" may never return, but you will after a while feel safer again after a few weeks of nothing happening. Take care.

jaudi 24.11.2010 14:22

Re: Followed almost home from the bus
 
About the suggestion to find a CCTV - just remember it won't actually protect you. There was a story (including partial CCTV footage) on UKs Crimewatch a few months back - a guy attempted to rape a woman in the outer entrance of a hotel - the glass doors into the hotel were locked and the reception desk (a few meters the other side) was not manned, but the whole thing was lit up, in full view of the street and hotel lobby and filmed by the CCTV. It may have helped catch the guy, but it didn't stop the attack. Luckily the woman did manage to stop it I believe.

Kash_Z 24.11.2010 21:34

Re: Followed almost home from the bus
 
Thats the spirit!

Next time i need cheering up, i'll be sure to turn to you.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jaudi (Post 1023491)
About the suggestion to find a CCTV - just remember it won't actually protect you. There was a story (including partial CCTV footage) on UKs Crimewatch a few months back - a guy attempted to rape a woman in the outer entrance of a hotel - the glass doors into the hotel were locked and the reception desk (a few meters the other side) was not manned, but the whole thing was lit up, in full view of the street and hotel lobby and filmed by the CCTV. It may have helped catch the guy, but it didn't stop the attack. Luckily the woman did manage to stop it I believe.


american lockpicker 25.11.2010 09:10

Re: Followed almost home from the bus
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by scrambled (Post 1023240)
also get some pepper spray

Piexon is good. http://www.piexon.com/ I edc the Guardian Angel.

NotAllThere 25.11.2010 09:17

Re: Followed almost home from the bus
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Carlos R (Post 1023298)
In this instance, she's quite harmless. If you actually take the time to smile back at her and greet her, she'll actually go pick on someone else.

We tried that. Didn't work.


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