I don’t mean to be dramatic, and some of you may have already heard this tale of woe, but I’ll share it again in all its g(l)ory.
Wednesday last week, we woke up to our usual hectic routine of getting dressed, getting breakfast, getting packed, getting out the door… in the rush, I could not find my laptop bag. It wasn’t a big deal, because I had emptied it of important things the night before after my water bottle spilled in it. It wasn’t where I had left it to dry, which seemed a bit strange, but misplacing things is not uncommon around here. I quickly grabbed a different bag and filled it up to bring to work. At the same time, I was trying to find B’s phone to see if our driver had texted him, since he seemed to be running late. We couldn’t find it immediately either, but if anything goes missing on a regular basis, it’s B’s phone. Again, I didn’t think much of it, and assumed he would find it later that morning.
Kids in tow, I headed out for school and on to work. Wednesday was a busy day for me, stuck in a seminar for the morning and thus out of reach. Mid-morning, I logged into my computer and saw of series of increasingly panicked emails/messages from B:
“Hey, I’m having a crisis here. Have you seen my phone & wallet? I literally can not find them anywhere.”
“OK, seriously cannot find my wallet or phone.”
“Crisis time. Seriously. Cannot find wallet anywhere in the house. Did you take it with you today or something?”
At that moment, I looked up and saw B walking into the office. He said those three magic words that no one ever wants to hear: We’ve been robbed.
Hehad just spent the morning tearing the house apart for his phone and wallet until it dawned on him that several other items were missing and put it all together… unfortunately, because his phone was among the lost possessions, he couldn’t call me and had to come all the way to work to get me (because I wasn’t answering email either). After an hour or so of wrangling with bank helplines and changing all our account passwords, he headed back home to assess the damage more thoroughly.
Turns out, some sneaky f***s climbed over our 10-foot gate, scaled the front wall and pried open a second-floor balcony window. (We know this because of the bare, muddy footprints going up the side of the house…) Once inside, they grabbed whatever was sitting out that was of even moderate value: our personal laptop (not a huge shame, because recently the 8, i, k and comma keys had stopped working – enjoy that, suckers!), LittleB’s month-old netbook (he cried all day), B’s phone and wallet, my laptop bag, my iPod, my blackberry playbook, B’s wedding ring, and a bottle of vodka. All in all, we lost about $3000 worth of stuff. And of course, we don’t exactly have what you would call ‘insurance’ here. Luckily, both of our work computers and my phone/wallet were in our bedroom with us, along with most of our other important documents and items.
In retrospect, it could have been much worse. Because we were home, they didn’t simply clear the place out (which I’ve heard of happening). No TVs or other sizable items were taken. However, I also think they didn’t realize we were home: the TV was actually unplugged as though they were going to take but got spooked – I bet they made their way downstairs and saw us in our bedroom and bolted. That’s also lucky, because my biggest worry is that they could have turned violent and someone could have been hurt. Frankly, probably them, and we would have been on the first plane out of the country to dodge manslaughter charges.
So, now what? Well, we’ve taken a closer look at the security of our house; what felt before like it was safe is obviously not. We lock absolutely everything now, sacrificing fresh air for safety just in case another monkey of a robber scales the walls. That wouldn’t stop a determined thief when no one is home, however, since they could easily break a window or jimmy a few locks to get in. We always figured as long as someone was here 24 hours, there was no issue, because who breaks in when people are home? Those guys, apparently. A lot of people here have night guards, which we’re seriously considering. Although the night guards at the house directly across from us “didn’t see anything” that night, because they were asleep by 2 am. Thanks for the vigilance, guys.
Anyway, it’s not all that bad. We lost a few things that in the grand scheme we didn’t really need. I like to hope that the person who stole them needed the money to literally survive, which is fairly likely… maybe they had a sick child or grandmother or something, and our few possessions helped them through a rough patch. It could have been worse.
On another, happier, note, here are pictures of the kids dressed up for “Hero Day” at school last week. Green Lantern and Batwoman. By the way, J has asked to officially change her name to “J the Batwoman,” so keep that in mind for next time you see her.
This week is International Night at the school – look out for that recap! We were going to make pemmican as the “Canadian” food to share, but it’s really hard to find rendered caribou fat here, go figure.