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Hoping my actions don’t end up on YouTube

May 28, 2013

Well that’s been an interesting night.

I was at Flinders Street Station on Platform 13 waiting for a Sandringham Line train. One had been cancelled, the next one had been delayed, and the platform was crowded.

A young bogan couple weaved their way through the crowd and drew attention to themselves with the volume of chatter. I noticed the woman was eating something from what appeared to be a fish and chips package.

A young lady with exquisite features and near impossible proportions (honestly you couldn’t miss it) appeared and weaving her way through the crowd approached the couple. From the body language of the three of them it was soon apparent they were engaged in an argument of sort. From several metres away I heard the young lady say that words from the female bogan from a previous encounter (I presume further down the platform) had been hurtful. Then quite clearly the female bogan said “I don’t walk about with my breasts pushed out as far as possible. I’ve got breasts too.”
The response was inaudible but the male bogan then said “You look like a two dollar whore.”

Having heard enough and with little hesitation I made my way to their location, stood between the young woman and the two bogans and said to the male “You owe this woman an apology.” His disbelieving response was “What for?” It was quickly apparent that this wasn’t going to achieve much so I turned my back carefully to them and the young woman said thank you to me as the train then arrived.

The bogan couple boarded the train and I asked the young woman if she wanted to board a different carriage, but she declined which is her right. Of course she should be able to sit anywhere and not be harassed. I chose to board the same carriage but chose a different door.

Before the train could leave the bogan woman saw me standing at the other door and loudly protested my presence with various profanities. She loudly pointed at me and accused me of staring at her, when I was only looking up from my MX at the sound of her protestations. She looked around the carriage looking for support, feeling herself persecuted, but found no support, only passengers angry at her language or annoyed that expecting further delay to their travel home. So as not to inflame the situation I intentionally didn’t look up and tried to ignore her. Her partner tried to talk her down but by now her paranoia of persecution was full blown. She verbally turned on the young woman again and at that another passenger arose, walked to the intercom and informed the train driver.

Realising that authorities were likely on their way the female bogan blew up, accusing any and all around her of persecution. She cried she just wanted to get home and uttered further profanities. Other passengers spoke up decrying her language at which point she began to physically remonstrate with some, and others then tried to hold her back.

At this point I stepped off the train to see if help was on the way and a customer services passenger was halfway along the platform so I waved to her. She arrived to see the abuse, and then see the female bogan physically assault a male passenger. She left to find protective service officers or police while reporting into her walkie talkie.

The bogan female then left the train (hoping to avoid authorities? Only later did I realise her partner had already fled) but she saw me and approached, pushing me firmly and yelling that I had upset her and that she had just visited someone who had had their throat removed. (wtf? Cancer maybe?) I could see protective service officers approaching and I made sure my stance was as non-aggressive as possible (amazing which thoughts can race through ones mind), politely disagreed and pointed out her behaviour and the comments of her partner. She then decided to leave but was quickly detained by the the approaching officers.

Just to add to the confusion there was then an announcement by Metro that the train on Platform 13 would be delayed and the train on Platform 12 would depart for Sandringham shortly. This lead to most passengers swapping from one train to the other, but those affected by the abuse and assault stayed on Platform 13 and officers began to take details. I gave a brief statement and gave my details to one of the Protective Service officers, stating my only concern was for the well being of the young woman abused, the gentleman assaulted and for the bogan female who was clearly suffering distress and paranoia.

It was then announced that the train on Platform 13 would soon depart, which saw a number of frustrated passengers swap back to this train.  I boarded this train and then spoke to young woman who I had tried to defend. We shared some post incident humour (she suggested laughingly that no one should never ever stand up for someone else – never ever) and among a couple of other passengers we shared our disbelief at the behaviour of the bogan couple.

It then started to feel awkward so I left them to their seats with the young woman having assured me she would be safe to get home. The train ran express to Elsternwick to make up time and I left my fellow travellers there.

Since then I have replayed those minutes over and over again, second guessing if I did the right thing. I probably over think these things but I’m confidant I did do the right thing. I’m just hoping my actions don’t end up on YouTube (I just checked and nothing there so far.)

I don’t know why the bogan woman was experiencing such paranoia or a persecution complex. I hope she is ok, and likewise for the victims of her abuse.

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