My shiny little online spot to help y'all keep track of me while I galavant around London.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Case of the Purloined Purse

It’s taken me a day—more than a day—to calm down enough to write this entry. Had I written this yesterday afternoon, it’d be nothing more than three paragraphs of violent, angry obscenties strung together with rage and frustration, and punctuated with regret. (And probably even the odd comma.)

While Tourette’s-on-page might make for an absorbing read, I defered for the sake of clarity.

To be cliché, I am now a statistic for London police. It was bound to happen sooner or later, and I suppose I should be glad I wasn’t mugged or murdered (or, to add injury to insult, both). No, they just stole my purse, right out from under me, in the most literal sense.

After a nice Easter Sunday lunch in Greenwich with some friends, a few of us went to a pub called the Gipsy Moth (named after a boat that’s no longer there) because Helen wanted to go work out, and we figured we should wait with her boyfriend, Callum.

Two pints later, Helen shows up, and we stick around so she can have a drink. We’re sitting, having nice conversation, surrounded by families enjoying Easter brunch, and groups of friends, not unlike ourselves, celebrating escaping from their families, or whatever. As always, I’ve taken my month-old, tweed purse off, (it matched my coat perfectly!) and wrapped the strap around my ankle, to give me a bit of feeling of (apparently false) security.

A few sips into my Hoegarden (from the tap, very tasty), and a girl about our age walks up to me, interrupting our conversation. She says, “Sorry… But I just wanted to let you know to keep an eye on you bags, as the two women hanging around behind you tried to steal our stuff earlier.”

Reflexively, I look down to my bag… which is no longer there. We dig around under Helen’s and Rhiannon’s bags, but its not there. I look around on the floor—maybe it’s been kicked somewhere—but it’s nowhere. It’s just gone.

I use someone’s phone to call mine, noting that the two women who were hanging about are walking to the door, but the call doesn’t go through. The phone’s already been turned off.

Some random guy and I take off outside, and run after the women, who are walking away from the pub, carrying a big shopping bag. We catch up, and he says: “This girl’s bag is missing.” Without taking offense, or without any confusion as to what he’s implying, they empty out the shopping bag—it’s just a pair of blue Timberland’s, still in the box.

We head back to the pub, checking trash cans, and he says they probably passed it off to someone already (if it was even them at all).

So we head back home (leaving my pint unfinished), so I can call and cancel my credit cards, my bank cards and my phone, as well as make a report to the police.

I can’t get thru to my phone company to cancel my mobile, so it has to wait ‘til this morning. When I do get thru, the CSR tells me someone used my phone to make a bunch of short calls to mobile phones the night before… so the thieving bastards actually used my phone. We’re passing the called numbers to the cops, but they might have just been cranking my contacts list (which is now lost for good… my friends are gonna think I’m ignoring them) or that they ditched it and someone was calling it trying to get it back to me. Me, I’m hoping it was the thieving jerks, so the cops have some info to go on. Not like I’m at all hopeful I’ll get my stuff back, but it’d be nice if the skanks got busted.

Now, I am without: my phone, my key and security card for my flat, all my credit cards and bank cards, some of my make up, my ID cards, about 25 pounds… and my camera. While losing money, having to replace cards, and losing my phone numbers is bad, I think the camera pisses me off the most.

I can’t get money out of the bank until tomorrow (when my branch is open) and I can’t replace my key until tomorrow (as the accomodations office is closed til then), so I spent today in my flat, essentially unable to leave, under my own little version of house arrest.

In total, it’ll cost me about $470 to replace everything in that bag. If you’ve been paying attention, this is money I do not have. And possibly worse, the fucking bitches that stole it will probably make less than a quarter of that when they sell it for the drugs that—if my voodoo dolls have any say—they’ll hopefully overdose on. Ok, admittedly, it may be harsh to wish death as karmic revenge on simple robbers, but bloody hell, it was Easter! Who the hell steals on Easter Sunday?!?

So here’s wishing, very sincerely, that your Easter was better than mine.


Blogger Expat said...

What a terrible thing to have had happen to you, especially in another country. Is it going to be difficult to get your ID replaced?

What a mess. I hope that they have caught the thief by now and you have everything all sorted out!


Blogger Nicole said...

I'm pretty sure they won't catch the people who did it, tho not for lack of trying. (The Greenwich police have been pretty nice, and seem to actually be seriously trying. So kudos to them.)

And, today being Wednesday, I finally got my student ID... It's going to take another week or two to get all my Canadian bank cards...

What a pain! But, it's London. It's almost to be expected...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goddamned London purse-snatching stupid asshole fucks.

That really sucks. Sorry that happened to you. I've been robbed once, some guys with knives took our coats when I was 15, and then once my hosue was broken into but nothing of mine was taken. I couldn't even imagine what it would be like to lose a) wallet; b) camera; and c) phone. If I lost my wallet I think my stomach would twist up and my life would seem to be falling into disorder.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

And by "anonymous," I meant "James."


Blogger Nicole said...

You had your coat stolen by guys with knives? That's what you get for living in the ghetto...



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