Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Unchained thus Unsafe?

We were robbed! The chain that we used to cordon off the pathway going down into the garden is nowhere to be found.

My husband and I heard the culprits on the wee hours of the morning, Sunday at around 1 am. You see, our city is celebrating its 4-day city fair or kerwe from 3-6 August. Thus, we get loads of people who came over to celebrate. That means, the city's parking area, even those within the residential zones, were full. Our street, a stone's throw away from the party mile, was clogged too.

Because we left our bedroom windows open, we both stirred and tried to catch each other's eyes in the dark when we heard the group of youngsters coming home from the kerwe. Fun time over, but still heady with excitement, the teeners decided to party a little in our street. They were loud and already sounding drunk. I heard the chains rattling and then a car door opening and closing; and then silence. My husband and I went back to sleep.

Around 3 am, it was our tenants' turn to be heard. We heard them talking by the driveway. Too sleepy to check, I simply turned off the sound.

When I woke up around 9 am, I felt a kick in the gut and a warning signal which I associated with what I heard early thar morning. Still wearing my pajamas, I went outside and looked -- the chain is gone. A very much delayed reaction.

I hurried inside and told my husband. He was bamboozled! (Dont you love this word, bamboozled, bamboozled, bamboozled!) Living in the neighborhood for more than 20 years, something like that never happened to him before. The kids were enthralled to hear the story. Becoming a victim of robbers, whoah -- cool! For them, it is like relieving the stories from books and tv. And they got more excitable when they learned of their assignment for that day; to look around the garden and bushes in the neighborhood for our chain. Papa wont give up the hope that the teeners just took it on a dare, had their fun, and threw it someplace.

No such luck. Both kids went around the block and talked to some neighbors. They saw or heard nothing. I asked our next door neighbor, they heard nothing. But I refuse to agree to my husband's comment that 'nobody around us hears anything; they would prefer to ignore things.' I argued with him about that. I refuse to believe that our neighborhood is composed of heartless people. I am holding on to my belief that we take care of each other.

I think he resented what happened. He was kicking himself because usually, he gets up and look outside when he hears something in the middle of the night! Telling him that it's not his fault would only make him guiltier, so I simply told him to forget about it.

Later that day, my husband talked to the tenants and asked them about the chain. They said that the chain were not there anymore when they arrived around 3 am. And told him the reason why they stayed out longer -- they observed how three men came out of our sickly elderly neighbors house, hauling 3 suitcases into a small truck and drove on. They managed to take note of the plate numbers of the truck. Hearing this struck two different cords in me. I am glad to know that we do take care of each other; but worried about these consecutive events.

There were no damage in our property, so the chain's as as good as forgotten. But I urged my husband to ask about the two old people. And hope that that event in that ungodly hour is nothing to worry about. After all, we should take care of each other.

P.S. The loss of the chain made me recall that Saturday's discussion between my husband and his father. My husband was laughing about the opa's collection of keys (at least 9 in all) for his vegetable garden in the mountain. He was saying that those keys would not prevent the people from getting in and stealing something. Well, he said it -- those teeners wanted the chain, they got away with it. Though my version goes like this: Opa asked the kids to take the chain because he wanted to prove something to his son, hehe! Now, the joke's on my husband, who decided to laugh about it, too.

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