letters from nairobi


nairobbery
December 7, 2011, 12:16
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

I should have known I was setting myself up for a fall when I wrote that Pollyanna post yesterday.

Last night, I pressed “save” on my bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed blog entry, closed my laptop, and went to the grocery store with N. to buy necessary apartment items like toilet paper and bed sheets.

And my purse was stolen.

Well aware of the city’s unofficial moniker of “Nairobbery,” I thought I was being cautious when I put my purse down in the shopping cart and covered it with my sweater so that I could use both hands to lift a large bag of dog food from a low shelf. I turned away for two seconds to grab the bag – a cliché, yes, but for a reason – turned back, and the purse was gone.

N. is pretty certain that the person who stole the purse had been following me throughout the store and waited for an opportune moment. There’s no way everything could have happened that fast by chance.

After blinking back tears in the middle of the pet food aisle of Nakumatt, I took a deep breath to evaluate what had been stolen. I had just gone to the ATM to withdraw money, but have taken up the habit of keeping all my cash in my pockets, just to be on the safe side. I also had my cell phone in the back pocket of my jeans, luckily, since I usually carry it in my purse but was wanted to make sure I didn’t miss a call. So those were safe.

What was in my purse? My ATM card, our only set of keys to the new apartment, a folder of receipts I was carrying for N., my driver’s license, a pair of headphones, and my favorite lipgloss.

After the shock wore off, I was inexplicably upset about the loss of my lipgloss.

In the end, major tragedies were averted – we drove out to Cachie to meet our housekeeper, who thankfully had a full set of keys to the apartment; I canceled my ATM card before any purchases were made; I had no compromising identification stolen other than my license, which had an outdated address; and all my money was safe in my pockets.

In retrospect, I am more angry than anything else: at the robber, for targeting me in a crowd and stealing from me; at the security guards, who were clearly indifferent to the situation; at myself, for not being more careful.

Quoth Alanis, “You live, you learn.”

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3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I’m sorry Han! I’m glad that nothing too important was taken, but still so sorry that this happened.

Hope we can talk soon,
Love Shana

Comment by shana

No, this doesn’t make me nervous at all. Doesn’t. Make. Me. Nervous. But this was better than getting stuck up in Lima — right? Seriously, I’m happy that you’re ok and learning. No more nairobbery!!

Love, Un-nervous dad

Comment by Richard Rubenstein

[…] other errands depend. I put my debit card – the replacement for my previous card that had been stolen a month ago – in the machine and entered my […]

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