Friday, August 7, 2009

Purse Snatched!

Jodie's purse was stolen last night. Okay, look on the bright side. I never give her much money, she didn't have her passport in it, and afterwards we immediately canceled her credit cards. But she will still need to get new mobile phones (Israeli and Bulgarian), new driving license, health card, prescription sunglasses. Very annoying. Especially since Jodie had already been a victim of Bulgarian pickpocketing.

Okay, go back two days in time. Jodie started coming to work with her infamous red purse, the one the gypsies liked so much. I asked her why, and she said she needed a change and she was watching her purse carefully.

Yesterday evening we were about to go to the mall for a quick dinner and shopping. I told Jodie she hadn't zipped up her red purse. She did, saying she would have done so anyway when we left our building. Fast forward to the very, very crowded Food Court. We are sitting down, side by side, eating tasteless KFC, when I asked Jodie where her purse was. She moved it from the back of her chair on outer side of the table, to between the two of us. No more than 3 minutes passed, I swear, and I asked her again, where her purse was. And this time it was gone.

The security guards at the mall were worthless. Really, I have no idea what they are supposed to do. It took some time until we found one who spoke English. He never asked us what was in Jodie's purse. The guard never took our address or contact details, in case they would afterwards find the purse. He told me to come back an hour later as they have security cameras. In the meantime, I searched every bathroom and stairwell in that mall, looking for a dumped purse. Nothing.

An hour later I came back, but the guards on duty had all changed. Finally the guy in charge arrived and said I would have to go to the police station. One of the guards walked with me 15 minutes to the nearest station. To cut a long story short, they said I would need to come back in the morning with a translator from the embassy. In my broken Bulgarian I explained that it was not a big problem, no important documents were taken, and that our credit cards were "closed". And there was no security footage to view, and even so, what would it have helped? I told Jodie that she, and me, are such obvious targets.

We are lucky this didn't happen in Bucharest. Jodie had started to carry a smaller, more secure purse, so I don't know why she went back to the red one so loved by gypsies and thieves.

In Jodie's defense = she had been following the Bulgarian custom of not putting your purse on the floor due to the local belief that this would result in her fortunes being carried away. We described this custom in a previous post. Next time she vows to put her purse on the floor, tightly held betwen her feet. That is the only way to make sure her fortunes don't get carried away.

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