purse snatching


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Africa » Niger
October 28th 2005
Published: October 30th 2005
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walking with yussef, who was wearing a white bubu outfit, it was 8:20 P.M. just outside the C.F.C.A., we were going to get a solani, yogurt in a bag. There was a guy across the street praying in the roadside mosque, but otherwise the street was pretty empty, it being the last prayer of the day. No taxis, the usual crowd near the food vendor, we were passing the biker-bar-next-door and i thought it was odd that this guy was stepping off the street up the curb towards me instead of making more room, and, ZIPPP with a quick yank, my wodabe designed purse that i got from mohammed's brother was gone. "Hey!" was all i could say and when yussef looked quizzically at me, he'd be peering into the bar i said, in english unhelpfully, "my purse" and then remembering my french, "mon sac" and we turned as the guy and his two friends tore down the street, in and out of the orange orbs of street lights, past the walls that they're white washing as make-up for the francophonie games in december. we stood there. the guy across the street was done praying. he watched us with our mouths hanging open. the "voleurs" skidded down the embankment at the end of the street where it turns into gardens. it took them a long time even though they were elbows swinging, legs pumping, adreniline rusing fast.
"what was in there?" he asked(in french)
"10,000 CFAs," i said. it was probably more like 12,000 and some precious coins, always needed for cab fare, but i didn't want to tell him there was more. about 27 dollars.
my montana driver's license in my red wallet that i got for fifty cents at western drug with vanessa
a coupon for 600 cfas of internet time cause the guy didn't have change the last time i went
my hacky sack
a sprite bottle cap i was saving for emma
a rubber popper thingy that mom sent for my birthday
a copy of my passport(thankgodthankgodthankgod not my real one)
two drawings by street kids at valpro from last wednesday
oooh, i just remembered, my insurance card...
what are they going to do with all that stuff?
"probably chuck it" yussef said(in French)
so there's still a chance that i'll be walking by a pile of trash and my laminated face will wink up at me, or a crayon color will turn out to be one of my gifts.
will they appreciate the rubber poppy thing? it's a half a bouncy balls, you know those things you turn inside out and they pop? i hope they figure it out...they probably won't
they're probably reveling in the fact that the stupid annasara chose to sport her cute purse tonight, on that side of her body, with that much money in it. why did she keep a bottle cap? and what is this bag of sand?
and so we turned around and went back, i didn't really want yogurt in a bag anymore.
welp, i thought, bad karma for them and during ramadan too...
but all the luckilys
luckily i wasn't alone luckily the purse came off easily and they didn't have to hurt me luckily i didn't have more money in there luckily i didn't have my passport inthere luckily i didn't have my credit cards in there luckily it happened close to home so i didn't have to feel super creeped out walking a long way back luckily it was just things a little bag full of THINGS luckilyluckilyluckily
i haven't even told everyone yet
i think i'm still slightly in shock
i think yussef is a little bit more in shock, his country 8 oclock at night and i didn't freak out, we didn't attempt to run after them
but what could we have done? the guy must have made his decision so quickly onetwothree approach yank flee and it's done a succesful night for them.
and me with my lessons
don't carry that much money
don't carry a purse like that

and a story for y'all


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