Saturday, July 06, 2013

Close Encounter


When I started working at Changi Airport after completing my NS stint, still 20 years of age then as an operations assistant and that year was 1982.  My job was in the passenger handling area; counter check-in, processing of passenger documents, departure & arrival duty, among others.  I was a greenhorn and like any greenhorn, everything was a learning process and I was always eager to learn.

One evening, I was tasked by my supervisor to take over the duty of the full time attendant at our CIP lounge who had to leave early for one hour to attend to personal urgent matter and then called it a day.  The last flight at Changi Airport departed at 0100 hrs to Dhahran in Saudi Arabia by China Airlines then.  Our lounge that served first and business class passengers was located at quite a deep end within the airport restricted zone and during that late hour, the place was very quiet as other airline lounges had already closed for the day.

I remember that particular CI flight was not full, only one first class passenger turned up at the lounge.  He was an Arab and he was quite a fat chap, wearing a safari suit.  He did not talk much, got his drink and sat at the couch.  I was bored, dead bored and there was no one to talk to even though it was for one hour relief.  I decided to kick a conversation with him asking him where did he go in Singapore.  At first, his reply was quite nonchalant until I asked him if he had visited Johor Road.  Johor Road then was an infamous place for transvestites and what else, its 'kinky activities'.  It was just a casual topic uttered from my mouth.  I thought Johor Road was quite an interesting place for any curious tourist, not necessarily have to be any prim & proper attractions but gosh, I was proven wrong for this one.  He started to get excited, eager to engage in a conversation with me.  He then asked me to sit on the couch next to him.  I did not think much about it, as I thought I can have a good conversation with him before his departure.  Mistake, big mistake...the moment I sat on the couch, he started to get closer to me and then touching me all over.  He tried to push me down and there was a struggle between the two of us.  Was I scared?  Heck no, scared was not even in my mind but fending him off was.  He was a bigger man but luckily for me, he was not strong.  There was a physical tussle and phew, I managed to subdue him eventually.  By the way, I had just finished my army stint and was still in my best physical condition, and had he gone any further, I could have bashed him up good and proper....yes, bash him up, I would.  After subduing him, he knew I meant business and he stayed quiet throughout until he was ready for boarding.  Had I been the weaker one, I could be in deep trouble.  Even I shouted for help, no one will hear me as our lounge which was located right at the deep end was the only one that was still opened.  I did not report the matter officially to my supervisor but did share with my colleagues of my close encounter then.  Admittedly, I did have a good laugh over it.  More than 30 years now, I still have some clear memory about this encounter.

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