Sunday, October 23, 2011

Three real robberies & one fake robbery...

Once again, truth is stranger than fiction.  If I were to put the following in a book, readers would criticize it and roll their eyes, and publishers would tell me to re-write it.  But this really happened!!!

When I lived in Torreon, Mexico (Jan-June 2001, and then July-May 2002-2003), I experienced three real robberies and one robbery that was entirely made up.  The only robbery that the police paid any attention to was the fake one...

Robbery One
I was teaching ESL in Mexico and lived - with two other teachers - in a house owned by the school.  The house was fully furnished, a fairly nice place, in a good neighbourhood.  One day, we came home from school and discovered that our home had been robbed and ransacked.  The thieves only took things that belonged to the tenants (us teachers): jewelry, cameras, CDs, etc.  They left the TV, microwave, appliances and furniture that all belonged to the school (who owned the house).  The burglars even took our booze (except the Mezcal... even crooks won't touch that nasty stuff!)  They also rifled through the underwear/lingerie/etc. drawers of all three of us.  UGH!  Besides taking stuff and trashing the place, the creeps used our lipsticks to write on the windows (in Spanish) "Pancho Villa Rules and Controls".  I have no idea what Pancho has to do with anything (but his real name FYI was Doroteo Arango).

The police refused to make a report.

Robbery Two
I'm still mad as hell about this one... It was the classic streetside "spill" accident/pickpocketing.  I was walking along a pretty little street in Guanajuato.  A man passed me on the sidewalk and "spilled" his orange juice on me.  A very nice lady walking by  handed me some tissues to help clean up the sticky mess.  The man apologized for his clumsiness, I said not to worry about it - accidents happen.  I dried off and wiped up.  No problem.  I thanked the lady for helping me clean up.  We parted ways, and I noticed my wallet had been pilfered from my purse.  Fuckers!  I won't give details, but they got a LOT from my wallet.  Fuckers!  I am still pissed about being conned... I actually thanked my robbers!!  ARGH!

The police refused to make a report.

Robbery Three
Was at the house I lived in during my second stint in Mexico.  Again, a nice house in a nice neighbourhood.  I came home to find the place trashed and everything of value was gone: electronics, jewelery, playstation, cameras, cellphones, and on and on...

The police refused to make a report. 

The Fake One
When I returned to Mexico in July 2002, I entered first as a tourist with a 30 day visitor visa.  No problem.  I had a job lined up that would arrange my FM3 (work permit).  I was there legally and had my papers from before, but for some reason, that 30 day tourist visa was IMPORTANT!  I have no idea where it disappeared but since I couldn't find it and since it was needed to process my new work visa, the loss of it proved to be quite a problem.

The immigration lawyer for the school came up with a solution.  The lawyer, a translator and I went down to the police station and reported a robbery.  I should add here that I speak and understand Spanish, but the lawyer said to pretend I didn't.  The lawyer told the cops I had left my purse in the car while I went grocery shopping (I don't drive) and when I came back my purse - with my tourist card - was gone.  (If I had no purse, then how did I pay for the imaginary groceries???)  The lawyer went on to explain that since I was a Canadian girl, I was naive and trusting because there's no theft in Canada, so leaving my purse in the imaginary car was a normal thing to do.

No problem.  The police issued a robbery report to explain my missing purse and tourist card.  The lawyer took the robbery report to Immigration.  The folks at Immigration were satisfied with the explanation of my missing tourist card, and my work visa was issued immediately.  No problem.

Hmmm... I wonder if any bribes exchanged hands..?

1 comment:

  1. You're right. You just couldn't make this stuff up could you? At least, not if you wanted to publish it :-)