Friday, July 27, 2012

Can't win for trying

The past month has been not so great. I'm pretty resilient and I haven't actually been unhappy, at least not for long, but in the six weeks, I've had someone break into my apartment, then try to break into my apartment again, had food poisoning, had some not so good stuff happen with my supervisor, not to mention a killer heat wave and too many cockroaches to count. My luck hasn't changed yet, because last Friday I was robbed.

That afternoon, I realized that my wallet wasn't in my purse. I searched my purse, my locker in the dorm where I was staying (I was in Rabat working at a camp for a week and a half), shook all my clothes in case a wallet might fall out and then checked my purse again, in case I missed it. I hadn't missed it, so then I swore.

I had paid for a taxi the night before and then walked straight back to the camp and hadn't left since, and I think my wallet was left in the cab, which meant I had no chance of finding it again.

First, I needed to file a police report, so I could get a replacement for my carte de sojour (official ID) and cancel my bank card. Luckily, Tarik, one of the counselors at the camp, speaks beautiful English and offered to accompany me, which was a huge help. I'm pretty sure my Arabic was up for the task, but I'm glad I didn't have to find out. (There would have been tears.) First, we went to a local police station, but were told to go to a different police station where taxi drivers are suppose to bring lost items. No one had deposited my wallet (I wasn't surprised), so from there, we walked to the main police station in Rabat to file a police report, only to be told that I couldn't because I didn't have any ID.

"No," I explained. "My ID was in my wallet. Which is gone. Which is why I'm here."

They berated me for not having a copy of my ID or my passport with me, and then told me they couldn't help me because I didn't live in Rabat, and that I needed to go back to my site and talk to the police there, even though the theft had happened in Rabat. I called Peace Corps, who argued with the police for me, and the police finally agreed to let me file a police report if I could provide a copy of some form of ID, which Peace Corps had. Peace Corps even offered to drive a copy of my passport over, but before I could tell them what police station I was at, my phone, which refused to charge that morning, died.

I maybe swore again. I definitely thought about crying.

Next, Tarik and I walked to the bank to ask what I needed to do about my back card. They also told me to go back to my site (even though my back account was set up in Rabat) and then berated me for not traveling with my bank statement, but finally agreed to help me if I brought a police file and a copy of my passport.

Next, I headed to the Peace Corps office to get some ID and call my Dad and have him deal with my US bank cards (which were also in my wallet), but, as a Ramadan miracle, when I got to the Peace Corps office, I was met by a staff member waving his phone at me and saying, "She has it."

Turns out, "she" was Leah, one of the other volunteers at the camp and "it" was my wallet, sans cash but with my debit cards and my carte de sejour, lHimdulilah! I went to the lounge and called my mom and cried for a little bit (it had been a rough day) and then walked back to the camp. As I was getting close to the dar talib where the camp was held, a women ran out of her house and explained that her kids had found my wallet, and recognized me from the pictures on my ID because they had seen me walking in the neighborhood with the kids from the camp, so they took the wallet back. (Which, actually, that's a really lovely way to end a day that had me questioning my faith in the decency of humanity.)

My wallet had been trashed. They took all the cash (and there was a lot), an 8 gig zip drive, a recharge card for my phone and a note my parents had slipped in my lunch when I was in sixth grade, saying they loved me. (I've carried it ever since and whenever I'm sad or lonely, I pull it out and read it. I'm actually more upset about the note than I am the cash, which is just money and can be replaced.) I'm a little concerned about my debit card, even though I've checked my account and there's been no activity. I would cancel it, just to be safe, but I'm going to England next month and there's zero possibility of me getting a replacement card before I leave, so for now, I'm just going to be diligent about checking my account every day.

I guess this had a happy ending, or as happy of an ending as it could, but it still sucks, especially on top of everything else that has happened since June. I could really use a break.

1 comment:

  1. So sorry to hear you're having such a rough time of things, hope they improve NOW!!! :)