Thursday, 25 October 2012

It's been a week from hell...

It began late last week. Pain, the likes of which I've never experienced before. It kinda felt like my face was being restructured, thanks to a demonic wisdom tooth forging its way into the world (and into my mouth). The pain became so unbearable that I had to have an emergency extraction early on Monday morning and was glad when I got home, tooth and pain free, thinking that the problem had solved itself.

I was so wrong.

The real pain started after that. In fact, by the time I had to go to work on Wednesday, I felt like the nerve endings in my entire body had been put in a blender and blitzed to shreds. I felt weak and fragile.

Me? Fragile?... I've never felt that way before. I just wanted to be held like a baby and rocked to sleep. But fate wasn't done with me yet.

This afternoon, driving on my way home from work, I got robbed in good ol Johannesburg. I stopped at a red traffic light, as I'd done a million times before, and before I knew it, a guy opened my door - and the first thing he said to me was "Fuck You", before trying to rip off my chain from around my neck, and succeeding the second time.

For a slow-motion second I thought of one of Steve Carrell's lines in the movie Date Night: "No, F you Mother Effer". And then his friend opened the other door and grabbed my bag... my first instinct was to grab my bag from him and throw it on the back seat (which I did) while trying to put the car in first gear to move off. 

Only there was no where to go. I was in the middle, stuck behind and in front of other cars. And no one said or did a thing! Welcome to SA. So stranger number two grabbed my bag from the back seat and they both ran off like the fucking cowards that they are, no surprise there.

I was immediately grateful for two things: that I wasn't hurt and that I kept my phone in my bra (as I always do and as I'm always mocked for doing)... and at the same time I was pissed off that I have to be "thankful" for just being robbed, and nothing else. 

I keep going over and over the events in my mind, thinking of what I could have done differently. And sometimes wondering, why me? And then I think, why not me? I live in one of the crime capitals of the world. What makes me so special? Truth is, I could have not forseen what happened - and even if I locked the doors - they would have just smashed in the window and taken what they wanted anyway because that's the standard modus operandi in these parts, and that would have cost me extra or even worse, injured me. 

In the meantime, all they got away with is a shit load of pain killers (maybe I needed to cut down on consumption), two credit cards (I did ask The Almighty to help me stop spending unnecessary money), 48 Rand (which is like US6 dollars), my drivers license (gotta get a new one), hand lotion that was almost finished and my access card for work (good luck to anyone trying to get into that building with my name).

I'm slightly disturbed (not as freaked out as I thought I'd be) but still disturbed and hoping that by writing about it, I can put things in perspective, and not morph into some paranoid schizo. Must say though, add the physical fragility, and you have one fine damsel in distress. 

BTW, Eid Mubarak fellow Muslims who celebrate.


  1. I keep a .45 semi automatic handgun handy (with Black Talon hollow point ammunition) for just such an emergency. Because their lives are not worth the bother of handing anything over besides hot lead.

    But I'm very sorry that this happened to you, and that you had your wisdom teeth out, and because it hurts and life sucks.

  2. Damn.

    I'm so glad you're OK and strong enough to keep things in perspective.

  3. Wow, I just followed you and this is the first post I read.

    You're so strong, it's amazing! I should learn how to keep things in perspective from you :)

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  5. Eid Mubarak to you too.. Really sorry you had to experience being robbed! I was too and I thought I was fine, until much later I realised that it never left my brain and it had affected me when I left home, numerous times, subconciously.

    look after yourself and hope you're not too traumatised!

  6. Azra,

    I'm so sorry sweetie. I know its cold comfort but that happens in the middle of freeways here too. The only difference is that people here can carry big guns in their car. Frankly, I dont think thats the answer because unless all the facts are on your side, you'll still go to jail for shooting someone not threatening your life.

    I suspect that in your case, as you say, they were cowards, and that you will not meet up with them again. Please keep in mind,though, if your diver license, like ours here in the States, has your address, they have it now. Common thugs have no courage to face a situation that they don't control but be wary for a time to be sure.


  7. I'm really sorry that you went through this but i'm sure in the grand scheme of things there where reasons behind it happening? Hope you're ok....

    On a positive side (if you can see the funny side yet), you kept your phone in your bra???? hahahaha cracked me up :D

    PS You're allowed to be pissed. You're a human with feelings not a robot like the right wing fundamentalists would have you believe....

  8. Holy crap - it has been a super rough week for you. Firstly, I'm glad you are OKAY and not hurt. Secondly, I'm sorry about the wisdom tooth thing. I hate everything teeth related so blech to that. I hope things get better for you, I really do!

  9. When I read your comment on FB, it made me angry as hell. Reading about your ordeal here again, I am getting even more angry! It fuels this intense love/hate relationship I have for SA! WTF is wrong with people here? Urg!

    I hope your face feels better now?

    BTW, where were you driving?

    Take care and eat loads of comfort food...

  10. LL
    Yeah, sometimes I wish I could have done the same.

    Roving Retorter
    I'm glad for that too.

    Welcome. I wish we'd have met under better circumstances though.


    Thanks, I feel much better. Often when something really gets to me, I can't stop thinking about it. I haven't thought about it much and haven't been jittery or nervous at home or outside, so here's hoping it really was nothing.

    Not to worry, our licenses don't carry our personal details other than personal identification numbers. And I will go to the Police Station to notify them its been stolen.

    The reason this happened is becoming clearer and clearer each day. I needed to be reminded of something. I really am grateful it wasn't worse.

    Ah, thanks Count Roothula :)

    Yeah hun, I know. I know too well. The pain has been less today, so there's one more thing to be grateful for. Gosh if I eat any more comfort food I'm going to look like a house! Gained way too much weight lately!

  11. Alhamdullilah - glad ur ok. And that way of seeing it as good - in that it could have been worse - was a lesson i learnt last year and was reminded of again recently. Strange as it may sound, I think it's actually an admirable quality to have - to see things that way when stuff like this happens. It means you see the positive rather than the negative, and hopefully also means you accept that this was written for you - even though it is unpleasant, and you might not see the wisdom in it yet (though you did see that already).

    Regarding your drivers licence, ID theft is a very real risk for you. So register that licence as stolen with the Southern African Fraud Prevention Service (SAFPS) (Helpline: 0860 101 248 | Email:

    Hope you reap only positives from this experience.

  12. dreamlife
    I'm grateful for a lot. Thanks for the number and email, it was something I needed to do! So came in handy. May Allah SWT protect us all from all kinds of calamities.

  13. oh my. im sorry to hear that but i'm also glad you're unhurt. it's really sickening to know that no one came to your help when easily people could have come to your rescue and nab the fuckers.
    it happens here a lot - robbers, equipped with large knives and other weapons, smashing through car windows to grab bags and stuff.
    snatch thefts are also rampant. sigh.

    hope you're feeling much better now. xx

  14. oh by the way, lol, how big is your phone to fit in the bra ?

  15. Ugh, that sucks so much. I'm SO sorry - thank goodness for your phone in bra habit!

  16. Jaya
    Thanks, I'm feeling much better. I have a Nokia... I refuse to get anything bigger, because it won't fit in my bra ;P

    Thanks :) Some habits are necessary :)

  17. Noooooooo. Oh hon... :-(((

    I'm so sorry to hear this (first time reading it this evening, haven't checked in with you for a week!), so sorry you had to go through it. Fucking cowardly cretins, grrrrrrr!!

    As awful as this was, thank God it wasn't anything more perilous.


    I'm also sorry to hear about the wisdoms and the pain and all that crap. Ugh. It isn't until our health is affected in one way or another that we realise how wonderful it is when we're completely healthy, when nothing is niggling at us.

    Also, this?

    "[...] like the nerve endings in my entire body had been put in a blender and blitzed to shreds" -- is one hell of a brilliant description. Made me feel it, big time!


  18. Pretzel Thief
    Yeah, its amazing how we take health for granted. The up-side is that I'm left eternally grateful for every "normal" moment.

  19. That's terrible, Az. I'm sorry to hear you got robbed but I'm glad to hear you're still in one piece. It's about time we moved to Mallorca. Better yet... Bora Bora.

  20. RCB
    Great to hear from you - just about thought that you moved to Mallorca without us!