China Elevator Stories

"I'm simply going for a walk"

I find myself being followed by a stranger in Austria.


Ruth Silbermayr-Song


During Austria’s first Covid-19 lockdown, I take the subway to visit a friend. When I exit the subway station at the last stop, I realize a stranger is standing on the platform and is watching me. All other passengers have already exited the station.

A few weeks later I’m at a shopping centre in Central Vienna. Due to the lockdown, all shops except for a supermarket are closed, and the shopping centre is almost deserted. When I leave the building, the same man who had been watching me from the platform a few weeks earlier is standing in front of the building smoking a cigarette, watching me from a distance.

I walk up to him and ask: “Has anybody sent you to spy on me?” He answers: “No, I’m simply going for a walk.”

Another night, a stranger follows me after nightfall. I’m going for a leisurely walk, and when I turn around because I get the eerie feeling that someone is following me, a man jumps to hide behind the corner of a building.

I find myself sitting at a police station a few months later asking the officer in charge if I can file a police report for stalking. The police officer tells me I can’t because I don’t have enough proof of what happened.

Have you ever filed a police report?