I have heard from my wife and many other people over and over the “horror” stories of what may and sometimes does transpire regarding males vs. females on public transportation in Bucharest. On a local news program (a subsidiary of PRO TV) there was a spot on the growing dangers of “attractive” females taking the bus. Why? Apparently some Romanian guys have been and are becoming more and more forceful on women whom they deem appropriate for their next “sexual” encounter. This works? Not likely. So here’s the deal… these Romanian males have every right to take public transportation as the next person, but where they are crossing the line is when they make lewd comments to women, and become “offended” when they don’t respond in a way the “pleases” them. Then the aggressiveness and the groping begins. In the US we would call this attempted rape, or at the very least, assault. These Romanian men have been quoted as calling it “quite normal”, “the girls love it”, and “they do it in the US”. Where on earth do they get that from….rap videos? Here are some links that may help you learn more about this, or at least shed some light on the subject:
So should you be concerned about your safety? Well, you should always be concerned about your safety! Carry pepper spray at the very least. I nor my wife have any real first hand experience with this issue, however she has had passing comments and whistles, but no touching or aggressiveness.
Before anyone sees this as an attack on Romanian guys it is most assuredly not. A friend of mine who is Romanian also is aware of this situation, and simply put “It is shameful that groups of people feel this is appropriate, and gives a bad impression about everyone else out there”. Point well put.
Just recently the news programs around Bucharest have been airing many stories on this, as it has been getting worse. These incidents have spread like wildfires around busy local areas even during broad daylight. There have been reports of this even in high end areas and tourist hot spots… so although this isn’t strange stuff for cities in general (NYC and LA have their fair share too, dont get me wrong) but it can happen and does happen to anyone, anyplace, anytime here. That is what makes it so dangerous. I have included a video in here for the “proof” that we aren’t a little bit over the edge here. Don’t let it discourage you from going out, however keep in mind some simple tips:
If you have the opportunity to travel in a group or with some friends, then do so. You stand out when you are alone.
When alone, act is if you are “with” certain groups of people walking… keep pace with them.
Watch out for small groups of people that are just “staying” or “sitting” and watching people go by. With a keen eye one can spot the people who look suspicious. More often then not you can even see these same “people” whistling and making what are clearly lewd comments. Walk the other direction.