Monday, May 14, 2012

Sometimes You Just Get Mugged

I'm totallyyyy fine, but it was just completely unexpected because I live in a really safe suburb. Basically, I was coming home from Paris in the early afternoon, I decided to take the bus from the train station to a street near my house because I was extra tired (I don't usually take the bus, go figure).

It's less than a 10 minute walk from the bus stop to our house, and it was bright and sunny and I was enjoying the walk because my I had remembered to charge my iPod for once and I was really enjoying listening to Rufus Wainwright. I was about 5 houses away from mine (pretty far down the block at this point), when I felt someone come up behind me and grab happened really fast so it's hard to remember,  and I knew right away that it was bad but I didn't really know what he was trying to do, because we were in broad daylight and there weren't any cars nearby that he could push me into or anything.

But it's a strange sensation being grabbed like that, and as I tried to fight him off me we ended up traveling from the sidewalk and onto the street. I heard somewhere that's it better to throw your belongings far away from you, because your attacker is more likely to want those things than he wants to hurt you, so I threw my coat (which was ripped by this point in our struggle) and my purse about 10 feet away and started SCREAMING. He went to the trouble of reaching into my coat pocket which was then on the ground to grab my iPod, and miraculously, even though my purse was right there, he didn't even try to take it. At this point, a guy who was during work on a nearby house heard my screams and started running after him but the first guy was too fast.

I think the whole thing probably lasted 45 seconds, even though it felt like longer. It was really just unfortunate luck. I almost never listen to music when I walk home at night, and I always constantly look around me, but somehow I managed not to see him today. Also, it was noon exactly when this happened, nowhere near nighttime.

This is the funny thing: For the past FOUR WEEKS, Lise has been OBSESSED with hearing me recount information I learned in the 2 self-defense workshops I took last year at sorority events, and  common attacker scenarios and ways to stop an attacker are literally her favorite subjects right now. Even though all of the info was already in my brain, I think repeating it over and over again to Lise over the past month made my reflexes pretty fast today, which I'm obviously really happy about (although, when I told Lise what happened, after she got over the initial shock, she told me, "What? You didn't even try to poke him in the eyes, even though you said that I would have to do that?? What kind of an example are you?!") :)

After it happened, their grandmother Annick took me to the police station (fun fact: police stations in Parisian suburbs are closed from 12 to 2PM, duh). Since they were closed she took me to coffee and we walked around for a while, and I like talking to her so that was nice. We were first on the list at 2 and weren't seen until 3, which shouldn't be surprising. The police officer taking the report (deposition in French) was really nice, and kept asking me for the English translations of words she was curious about. The best part of this whole ordeal was that I successfully was able to use the imparfait and passe compose verb tenses TOGETHER to correctly denote the order of the things that happened, which is usually hard for me to put into practice, so yay! The police officer even told me that my French was good, yesss.

All in all, while a scary thing, it was the best of all possible mugging situations. I literally didn't get a scratch. I'm sad about my coat, because it's my most precious belonging at present, but I'm definitely going to have my mom sew up the awful tear, which I will proudly wear as a battle scar of sorts. Of everything on me today, my iPod was the least important to me, since it's literally 8 years old, doesn't hold battery and has water damage that makes it impossible to know if it's even charged or not, so joke's on him. Plus, I'm sure he's going to *love* all of the Gilbert & Sullivan and Civil War-era music I have on there :)

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