Monday, February 20, 2012

On Getting Mugged

Dear Parents: We're fine. No one was hurt, or even harmed and I only lost $75 and my wallet.

There's two things I've learned last night about getting mugged:
-First, if you talk about muggings that have been happening in the city recently over drinks with friends the same night, karma might just play a joke on you.
-Second, it's exactly as you imagine it to be.

It was 12am and we were walking the 4 blocks from where we had drinks with two friends, back to our hotel. We had made this walk back to our hotel several times before at similar hours, and had never had any problems. We made sure our hotel was in a safe area of town.

Note to self: Just because you've made the same walk several times, doesn't mean you shouldn't be extra careful every time.

When we were one and a half blocks from our hotel two guys rounded the corner to our side of the street. I immediately thought "we're gonna get robbed", even though we were still half a block away from them. Then I felt guilty of profiling the two guys (ugh, what Brown and liberal friends will do to you). So then I thought, maybe they're just coming back home late. Then one guy turned his back to us (presumably to get his weapon), and this suspicious behavior only confirmed my earlier instincts.

Now I'm questioning myself why if I was so smart we didn't turn and run away. I don't know. I also don't know why we didn't shout "thief" after they left, I guess we just wanted to get back to our hotel.

One of the guys then walked up to me all agitated, huffing a bit (maybe he was out of breath) and pointed a flat bladed screw driver at me. This confirmed my earlier suspicions that we were about to get mugged. So I told him to stay calm, got out my wallet and handed it to him. He said some stuff, though I didn't understand (either his Spanish was too fast, or with the huffing he was hard to understand). However, I gathered from his demeanor that he wasn't satisfied and expected more. He said "mochilla" (bag), but I explained I didn't have one. He then patted my other pocket and demanded whatever was in there saying "cellular" (cell). I got out the hotel key (which he didn't want), some change and a candy I had gotten at dinner and gave them to him. He seemed took the change and candy and we parted ways, or I walked off (I can't recall).

When we got to the hotel, I turned around to make sure they were gone, and I could see them disappearing around the corner (hopefully not planning to terrorize anyone else). I immediately told the front desk staff and the security guard, and he went outside to see if he could see them. The front desk staff apologized profusely (though obviously not her fault).

I was a bit shaken up immediately afterwards, but now I'm fine. Bev's totally fine, more worried that our parents would worry (so if you're reading this - don't worry, we're more worried that you'll worry).

I'm also glad that I don't carry any real valuables on me - passport, credit cards, etc are all safely packed away. 

So yeah, I'm annoyed:
-I'm annoyed that we were mugged and the experience will slightly tarnish our memory of Cochabamba.
-I'm annoyed that I was mugged with a flat bladed screwdriver, and that makes my story sound wussy. I feel like at least a Phillips screwdriver would have been more dignified.
-I'm annoyed to loose my BigSkinny wallet (navy blue) which I liked very much.
-I'm mostly annoyed about losing the candy I got at dinner that I was looking forward to having today. It was one of those clear hard fruit candies candies, I think strawberry or other red flavor. It looked tasty.

Anyways, we're fine. I'm glad I took precautions not to take valuables with me, and next time we'll take a cab. However, everything turned out for the best, minus my candy.


  1. Stay safe man, that doesn't sound like a fun thing to have happen :(

  2. ohhh no! I'm so sorry- that's really scary. I guess Bev looked really poor or something? Good work Bev! Take care of each other over there. I'm really glad you reacted the way you did,Sam or you could've gotten hurt. love you guys.

    1. Thanks Michaela, we'll definitely take care. Bev must have had her best "I have no money face" on. Talk soon!

  3. I'm pretty sure you're not near Buenos Aires, but just making sure this didn't affect you...