Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore…

20 Jul

I had the most shocking/unpleasant experience in Chile so far this past Saturday night on the way to a friend’s house for dinner.  :(((

The hubby and a I were driving over for a small dinner party that his friend Jose Luis had invited us to.  He’s a pretty big time chef here and specializes in Spanish food.  Jose Luis and his wife Gisella recently moved to a new house in Macul so it was a bit of a housewarming party as well.  (We’re in Vitacura for reference…)  We were almost there… and waiting at red light on a major intersection when it happened.

While discussing how hungry the two of us were, KH had been looking in the side and rear view mirrors at the stop.  He suddenly hollered that there was a thief and grabbed my purse and put it in between the two of us while checking that the doors were locked.  Some guy had a big rock and ran up to the car behind us and slammed it into the driver’s side window.  Luckily the light turned green and everyone drove off like a bat out of hell.  Seriously shaken I asked what the @!%# was going on.

Apparently we were in an area that was middle class on the left.. and lower class to the right.  There are thieves who target women alone in cars.  They break the window glass… grab and run.  Luckily the lady behind us must have had reinforced glass windows and the window didn’t break.

What really bothers me the most about this incident is the type of place we were in when it happened.  It was like any major intersection in the burbs in LA with 3 lanes going each way at about 8pm.  In a middle class neighborhood.  I wouldn’t have been at all nervous walking around in that area from the way it looked.  You know how in LA there are some people who sell oranges/roses/etc. at freeway entrances/exits?  Well there are vendors like that at almost every major intersection in the city.  Not to mention the pedestrians, people waiting for buses, etc.  So if you didn’t see the rock or weren’t paying particular attention then you wouldn’t have even given the guy a second thought.  Talk about a false sense of security.

Since living here I’ve learned to not take a purse out unless absolutely necessary to avoid tempting purse thieves.  Also, to always be aware of my surroundings and people when walking about.  KH is thinking of having our car glass replaced with the reinforced kind.  I’m kind of freaked about what happened.  You’d think that if you stayed away from the “bad” areas of town and keep your doors locked when driving that it would be enough.  I guess not…

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2 Responses to “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore…”

  1. hapamama July 20, 2008 at 2:34 pm #

    I can’t say that I find this terribly surprising, after some of the stories Jeff’s sister has told me about Peru. The divide between the “haves” and the “have nots” is much bigger than here in the States.

  2. Kent July 23, 2008 at 9:27 am #

    That sucks. Having to adjust to a new culture is bad enough… Having to worry about your purse being stolen is added pressure you don’t need. 😦

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