I was having a merry old time, snapping photos of women and men in traditional African garb: yellow and red silk flowing to the red dirt, bright smiles everywhere you looked. Even the boda drivers looked magnanimous. Food vendors were making out like it was an airport food court. I mean everything was selling: bananas, meat on sticks, popcicles on sticks, mesh visors of the president, yellow tees of the president. Elderly women were laying on blankets, chucking peanut casings in the weeds, gaps in their teeth as wide as the Texas panhandle...but so what? The President is here. It's Independence Day!
I saw a man with a cooler full of popsicles and a chubby, adorable girl all of seven staring at them with mouth agape. "Give me two!" I yelled over the noise of the marching band.
She smiled at me and absolutely gorged the stick. She was halfway through the treat just as I was getting my change. And getting my pockets emptied.
God, I hate when people bump into me and don't even say 'excuse me'. Total dick move.
Wait! Where's my camera? WAIT! WHERE'S MY CAMERA?!
A large man in a yellow hat, face indescribable, bumped into me and helped himself to my Panasonic Lumix Digital camera. RIP Lumix. R.I.P.
It took me all of ten seconds to realize what had happened. Ten seconds and one innocuous mental hiccup was all he needed to turn into Casper. By the time I turned and scanned the thousands of men that could have been the thief....POOF! He was gone.
The phrase I kept going back to in those following minutes, is: You have got to be kidding me.
Are there stages of grief following a pickpocketing? I certainly had them:
- First there was disbelief (Dude, WTF?!)
- Anger (I almost snapped at two teenagers just for smiling at me...(
- Back to disbelief (see above)
- Over to hope... (Wait! Did I check the smaller zipper in my backpack?)
- Back to despair (Yep, I did)
- To frustration ('Sure wish I could take a picture right now...')
- To a mixed bag of resentment, anger and lunacy ('If I find that guy with my camera...')
- And then finally back to acceptance and despair. (I live in east Africa and I don't have a camera anymore. FFFFffffudgefactory~)
I took some great pics today too. A male student in pink shirt and tie with yellow parisol. Six women filling up their Jerry Pails full of tap water. Groups of students marching in unison. And I was going to get pics of the President as well. But I guess it wasn't meant to me. I guess the thief needed my camera and it's currency more than I do. I guess I'll just have to chalk it up to the odds. Or find him and turn into his noggen into a personal noogie asylum.
On to other news:
Kyambogo hasn't paid its water bill for several months so there will be no running water for the next few days at least.
I'm just about recovered from a week-long cold. Luckily, I had Cipro and allergy meds to get me through. Thank you Jean!!!
My sideburns are becoming increasingly similar to Mel Gibson's chops in "Patriot". Time to search for a barber.
And just in case you thought I was being sorry for myself or down in the dumps, don't worry! I'm too engrossed in the baseball playoffs and NFL season to really get too philosophical about a little issue like thievery or sanitation. Although I am bummed I won't be able to share the images of me teaching or traveling for the next little while.
Sister Frances also gave me six seedless oranges and a pineapple today after I got back from the President's speech. Nuns rule.