I Got Robbed

It was bound to happen eventually. And I’m fine, and not at all shaken. Police report will be filed tomorrow.

Today was a less than great day. I was supposed to head into town after work to try to do some errands. Instead, I get a call from my school (on a day I was supposed to be at the teacher’s center) that their timetables were made with wrong information. So I rush there, spend time helping them fix all the teachers assigned to wrong classes, and get out. It’s downpouring.

I try to get a taxi into town, and none are stopping. I walk a little closer to the shopping complex, the center of my township and the busiest place. I’m standing across the street from the complex, at the intersection of a dirt road and the main tar road. Two kids come up to me, and they make small talk. They seemed friendly enough. They were about 14-15 years old. I have many interactions like this, usually a few everyday.

They ask to use my phone. I get asked to use my phone A LOT. I said the same thing I always say. I don’t make money because I’m a volunteer, but I’ll send a “Please Call Me” for you. A “Please Call Me” is a free text message you can send to another phone. It basically is just an ad with a phone number. The idea is you want to talk to someone, but you have no money. A “Please Call Me” tells them you want them to call you.

I ask for the number, and he grabs the phone out of my hands. I ask for it back, and he tells me to wait a second. The two of them begin walking away. I follow. They walk faster, and turn the corner. We’re now out of sight of the main road. They start walking faster. I think they were still making small talk but I can’t really remember. After 30 meters or so, they stop at a house. They tell me to wait and they’ll be back. I say give me my phone. They say no. I say something along the lines of “You wanna fucking do this?” and put my fists up–not the best choice but I wasn’t exactly thinking clearly. One kid reaches into his pocket like he has a weapon. I begin to back away.

It was a bluff, there is no weapon. He takes off. I give chase, screaming about how he has my phone. He’s fast. Really fast. Nobody helps, they just get out of his way. He turns the corner and I lose him.

Yay.

I go to town, get a new, cheap phone. (My old phone was cheap too, it can’t be worth much on the black market). I go to the store, and they are able to move my number to the new phone. They are also able to “blacklist” my old phone, meaning the SIM card and the phone itself are now dead.

The best part about this is that these kids seemed to live around the complex. Which means that I’ll probably see them again. The crime happened maybe 1.5k from where I live, and I know some people in the neighborhood where it happened.

I’m not really upset by this, it is more inconvenient than anything. The worst part is that I feel like an idiot (the second worst part is my phonebook is gone, but that’s not a big deal). However, many of the people I spoke with about the incident are VERY upset, and some people went looking for the punks…I did not encourage this, but there isn’t anything I can do to stop it.

And no, if I see them again I wont do anything stupid. They need the 10$ they probably got for the phone more than I do.

To make my day better, when I got home a glass bottle of soda slipped out of my hands and exploded. Yay!

I’m glad school is almost over. I need a break.

5 Comments

Pete Micek says:

c’mon man, i thought you’ve been running! you play any soccer there? sorry to hear about your troubles. maybe there are different challenges living in the townships compared to some rural outpost.

04 Dec 10 @ 1am

Steve Sherman says:

The Cro Mags wrote a song about this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0f-31qgY9s

05 Dec 10 @ 4am

michaelwsherman says:

The kid was FAST. I don’t play soccer as much as I want too, since there are things to do in the township the soccer pitches don’t see as much action as they do in rural areas.

Steve, people are looking for the kids. I don’t approve, but people are very much on the hunt.

05 Dec 10 @ 8pm

Harvey says:

Wow, like any other country – trust no one and always watch where you are.

08 Dec 10 @ 3am

Gareth Marland says:

man…. sounds like you bitched out to me!

14 Dec 10 @ 4pm