My purse got snatched recently.
I (sober) was out walking with my boyfriend (sober too) at roughly 1:15 a.m. in Roma. As we were crossing a thoroughfare, we saw two guys in front of us also crossing the street, moving toward us. Except then, they kind of shuffled and stopped and reached for my purse.
In the next three seconds, I both fell over from the tug and willingly relinquished my bag. I think my first reaction was “no you can’t have this – you must be confused because this is mine.” And then the follow-up to that was: “Oh, alright, now I see you’re trying to rob me. Here take it. Just go away.”
And off the two men went. One had tried to grope around my boyfriend’s pockets. But the thief was too nervous and incompetent to cover more than two pockets in a period of a few seconds. The loot was in the back. He missed it.
So what have I learned from this? I guess not to romanticize. With a few minor exceptions, Mexico City had treated me well up until this point. I’d never experienced crime before. I live in a nice, affordable neighborhood. I move easily by Metro and have never felt threatened on board.
But like a somewhat shady, albeit fun, friend, Mexico City can occasionally lure you into some risky behavior. You think, yes, I should have stayed home. Or no, I should not have jumped in that street taxi. The city’s taken care of you in the past, made you feel less vulnerable. But that doesn’t guarantee protection forever.
So now, I’m iphone-free! But at least I’m scrape-free too. All and all, it was not so bad. I’ll be more careful.
Photo by eyeliam, Flickr Creative Commons license