Before I get into the story let me just let you all know that I’m laughing while writing this post because last week I literally talked about how I wouldn’t get robbed because I don’t look like a foreigner. The universe humbled me faster than I expected.
I went to the desert of San Pedro de Atacama this weekend. A bunch of my friend and I decided that we were going to get a rental car, drive around and get to know parts of the desert. We left on Thursday evening. My friend Grace and I were on our way to the airport. We had to take bus 518 from the corner of Francisco Bilbao and Los Leones in Providencia to metro stop Los Héroes in downtown Santiago. We planned to take a bus to the airport from near Los Héroes.
We were on our way to the bus that would take us to the airport and everything was going well. I had my backpack with the clothes I was planning on wearing for the weekend and I also had a sleeping bag that I had rented tied to the outside of my backpack because I didn’t actually have a backpacking pack. We reached Los Héroes and to get to our second bus, all we had to do was cross the street, so we began walking towards the end of the sidewalk and then when we felt a splash of something sprinkle on top of us.
“What was that?” I said out loud. “Dude, did a bird just poop on us?” Grace asked, disgusted. “Holy frick, I think so,” I responded and just when I was about to help Grace clean the bird poop off of her hair, a short 40-year-old woman walked from behind us. “Oh no! Oh no! Esta en todo su pelo!” She swore I had bird poop all over my hair. “Ven! Ahorita le ayudo.” She said she was going to help me. “Well, okay,” I thought she was just trying to be nice to me; however, her exaggeration of the amount of bird poop in my hair threw me off a little bit, but I still let her help me because I was always taught to accept peoples’ acts of kindness.
She pulled me off to the side on the sidewalk and Grace was confused as to why the lady was helping me so much more than she was helping her because Grace had gotten more “bird poop” on her hair, but we both went with it anyway. The lady told me to take my backpack off so she could reach the bird poop on my neck, so naively, I listened to her. I took my backpack off and she began to wipe my neck with a tissue she had handy. “Take care of my backpack,” I asked Grace. I am always hyperconscious of people potentially stealing my belongings because I know it happens in Santiago when you least expect it, so I made sure to keep an eye on my backpack. I kept glancing at my backpack on the ground, making sure it was still there while this random lady helped get the bird poop off of my neck. In my eyes, my backpack was always there.
After about a minute of the lady wiping my neck, she said it was all gone, but before I could thank her, she ran away. Grace and I looked at each other, puzzled, but then it hit me that she might’ve not been trying to help me after all. I looked at my backpack, I picked it up and I realized it wasn’t my backpack. It was a backpack that looked like the gray backpack I owned. “Grace, this isn’t my backpack. I think she took my backpack.” I was freaking out at this point because my real backpack had my wallet that contained about 100 dollars in cash, my credit card, my debit card, my license, and all the clothes and materials I needed to go camping in San Pedro de Atacama. I didn’t really know how to react. Grace suggested that I run after the lady, but when I looked in the direction she had walked in, she was gone. I felt defeated and I didn’t know what to do. I told Grace I wasn’t going to the desert anymore, but she convinced me to go anyway and I’m glad that I did because the weekend turned out to be a blast.
I’m still bummed that I got robbed, but I don’t like to hold onto things that are out of my control, so I’m almost over it. Luckily, I’ve never been someone to put a lot of importance on material items, like my clothes, so I’m not really that angry. I do hope the lady needed the money and clothes she took more than I did because that’s all I can really do at this point. Anyway, that’s the story of how I got robbed. I’m sorry for not elaborating on the suburbs this week like I had said I would last week. I just really wanted to document this experience of mine so I wouldn’t forget it in the future. I will write about the suburbs though, don’t worry.
Here are some pictures of this fun weekend I had:
Thank you for reading my blog!