Last night my friend Christy came to join me in Longhua for our holiday this week. We have Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday off for Mid-Autumn Festival.
She arrived on the bus at 8pm. I was waiting at the stop near my estate for her.
There are two sidewalks that go up “Donghuan Er lu,” the street my estate is on. One sidewalk has my estate, other estates, and plenty of nice vendors, restaurants, etc. The other sidewalk adjacent to this one has plenty of restaurants and mechanics with some shady dark alleys. On my side where I usually walk down, are guards and posts every where. On the other side no guards.
I have been living in a funhouse lately. Enjoying the silly things I see while listening to my ipod and not thinking about the people surrounding me–who love to stare and walk near me and sometimes touch me.
So Christy and I were walking on the shadier side of the street deep in conversation and our umbrellas in tow. The only reason we were walking down this way is because we wouldn’t have to cross the street twice. There were plenty of people out celebrating the holiday. It was well lit and people were outside enjoying themselves and the holiday.
All of a sudden I look over and a man, our height, and paper thin, is at Christy’s throat and Christy SCREAMS at the top of her lungs. C-Rat ripped Christy’s cherished necklace from her neck stealing only the charm and quicker than lightening, much like a rat, cockroach, or GECKO….scampered into one of the dark alleyways. We were RIGHT outside of a restaurant and everyone came out to look and did NOTHING, NOTHING at all. Of course they did nothing. Would strangers do something in another country? Christy and I cried. Thankfully he had only scratched her neck and didn’t have a weapon. We were completely shaken. We had a case of the “woulda, coulda, shouldas.” We were just about at the corner too. The whole reason we took this sidewalk was to simply turn left at the end of the road instead of crossing the road. I was so mad at myself. Maybe they see me walking near that corner every day sometimes with a necklace or an ipod in my hand. Maybe they knew and all of them were watching…a team of cockroaches just waiting for their chance to violate our naiveté.
I have decided to walk like one does when being chased by an alligator. Somewhat to the side and constantly checking my surroundings rather than getting lost in my surroundings in my music.
So now I’ve been officially jaded. It’s good. I’m thankful we didn’t have more taken from us. It’s not even about the necklace it’s about feeling plum violated.
The charm is worth maybe 2 or 3 USD, but it had sentimental value to Christy. If someone is that desperate to steal from a foreigner, scare the living shit out of two foreigner friends, and risk getting the death penalty if caught? I feel nothing but pity.
What a world I am living in.
And if this should ever happen again…
I Am Beyond Ready.