Tuesday, December 4, 2007

what a welcome home

This, my friends, is a little picture called irony.

See those two bottom slots on the right side of my wallet? For a few hours they held the debit card and solo credit card that traveled safely with me through four months of Africa. But, then, after just 36 hours back home in the land of their birth, I let them down. I apparently left them just unattended enough for someone in Zorba's Cafe to practice a little sleight of hand and snatch them from their comfy little home.

See that white business card on top of the wallet? That's the business card for the kindly DC police officer who wrote up the official report about the abduction of my two precious little plastic cards.

Yep, you're reading what you think you're reading. After four months of safe travels in places lots of people don't think of as safe, I arrived home and quickly became the victim of a crime. After four months of extra vigilance on behalf of my belongings, I had only 36 hours of trying to readjust to an appropriate level of vigilance for an American city before a thief struck. Somehow while I was eating supper tonight with one of my DC friends, someone managed to reach into the purse that was on the floor between my seat and the wall and snag the two cards, without I or my friend noticing. I think the crime probably occurred when I got up from the table and went downstairs to get a straw from the restaurant's counter. My friend never left the table, though. When I returned to my seat, I thought my purse was a little further toward the back of my chair than I remembered, but I just moved it back under the table and proceeded with a lovely catch-up conversation with my friend.

A couple hours later we walked a few feet down the street to finish off our meal with a Starbucks treat (my first one in four months! and my first full price Starbucks drink in 5.5 years!). An unpleasant sight met me when I opened my wallet to pay for my peppermint hot chocolate.

So, I'm praying nothing was spent before I got ahold of credit card companies, and I'm thankful that nothing more was taken. The thief left my drivers license, my cash, and the receipt for the winter coat I'd purchased earlier in the day. He/She also left my digital camera and my glasses. And he/she didn't hurt me in the process of getting what he/she wanted. So, as crimes go, it was relatively uninvasive (I say this before I've gotten to talk with my bank. We'll see if the story stays the same after business hours begin tomorrow!)

Other than this little incident, my arrival back in the U.S. has been really nice. DC has become one of my hometown cities. Though I only lived here for a couple years, they were formative years right after college. And the city is home to so many good, good friends (with good describing my relationship with them as well as the high quality of the friends themselves!). Some of the trees here are even still boasting yellow leaves, as though they saved a bit of autumn just for me to enjoy, and the nippy air is as refreshing as the diversity of people who live here.

It's good to be home, even on days that begin better than they end.


Mark Kelly Hall said...

Welcome home! Sorry it was less than a pleasant re-entry experience (I remember savoring a Mtn. Dew with extra ice and a sausage biscuit in the D.C. airport when I came back last year...but that was just after a week).

Hope the card thing works out for you. I wonder if you would've been able to maintain as positive an attitude about the inconvenience (hopefully that's all there'll be to it) before your trip? Hmm....


Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be ironic if you find out it is someone from Africa? :-) hee hee. If so, I hope you get to meet them and tell them about your trip.
Mom has given me some of the update. I thank God the experience so far has been a very helpful one with your bank. I am also very thankful they didn't feel the need to take your things in any different way than they did.
It is also a very good thing they didn't want your id....seeing as how you may need that to get on your flight to Nashville. :-)
Love you and glad you are ok--Your awesome sis Erin :-)

Cydil said...

Hello Kami! I'm so sorry to hear about your little incident, but like Erin said, good thing they didn't get your ID!
Guess what? My AM flight to KY on the 2nd got cancelled so I ended up staying in DC til later that afternoon, catching a flight out of Dulles instead of Reagan. Funny to think we were running around the same city for a few hours after all the places you've been in the last several months! Looking forward to catching up with you... Cydil