Its certainly not the same Sydney. I had an incident last night!
I was out in the city tonight, having a drink and dinner with a girlfriend. it wasnt late...aout 8.30pm when we finished and left the cafe heading towards the main street. I was still in conversation with friend when suddenly I felt someone by my right side. Turn to look and theres a man really close to me, his attention was on my bag that I had on my right arm. It all happened really quick, when I first felt him near me, seconds later he had my bag in his hands and ran off.
I recovered quickly and ran after him for a couple of steps.... realised no way I would catch up especially not with the shoes I had on. So I left my shoes (yep on the street ) and continued to run after him...this time faster, and also shouting.... PLEASE STOP THAT MAN, STOP THAT MAN, HES GOT MY BAG!
he turns round a corner, crosses the road and runs down hill. I turn round the corner following him, but my senses told me to pause to watch for cars before crossing. At the same moment this thought ran through my head that not only will I lose my bag, money, keys, phone and everything, now I will likely lose my shoes as well! I continue to shout after him though. He runs past 2 bewildered women who were trying to figure out what was going on (probably). While still chasing him and shouting, I notice a guy on a cycle suddenly speeds up in same direction as the thief. They both turn at another corner heading to a main street. By the time I get to that corner, Ive lost both of them.
I look around - theres 2 directions - straight ahead, with a train station close by, and one down hill towards another street. I gamble on the train station, hoping the man might have headed there, dumped my bag (as he would only be interested in the cash), and hop on one of the trains. No luck there.
All this time, back of my head Im thinking - what am I gonna do. The friend that was with me will give me some cash to tide me over, but where will I sleep, how will I get home with no keys (I know she would let me sleep at her place too), and all sorts of other questions. [Incidentally, after she recovered from the initial shock of me suddenly shouting and running off chasing some guy she did pick up my shoes and follow me...so I do have my shoes PHEWWW!]
I then head to station manager, in the hope of asking their staff/cleaners and such to keep eye out for my bag in the dumpster somewhere. He then calls the police station (which was going to be my next stop). Speaks to a constable there, who then advised that they've got my bag
So off I go to the station.....still in 2 minds.....hopeful, but also skeptic. What are the odds of something like this happening, and getting my things back...and within less than half an hour of the incident. Unlikely. But I was still secretly hoping that its mine. Walk in to station, and first thing I see is a cycle in front of counter, and a young-ish man beside the bike. I knew right away he was my good Samaritan
The man heard my cry for help, saw the thief, and started chasing after him. From his statement, he shouted to the man to stop, and the thief turns back and screamed at him saying 'Ill stab ya! Ill stab ya!'. However, in the end he just threw my bag down and continued to run. My rescuer picks up the bag and takes it to nearest police station.
I get most of my things back. The crucial ones anyway. Got my phone back, got my house keys. Which meant I could call home, have my (thai-based) credit cards cancelled, cancel my AUS ATM, and have the somewhat comforting thought that I can now head home.
In the midst of this unfortunate, and have to admit, shocking incident, I still feel lucky in 2 ways. One that against all odds, I got my phone and keys back. Two - when I look at my bag at the strap (where the man was fiddling) - both the police and I realised that it had been cut with a sharp object. Quite likely a small knife or blade of some sort. Things could have gone more wrong. He might have hurt me, or the nice guy that tried to help me by chasing him. Fortunately, none of this happened.
One other thing that suddenly hit me given all the above is this - I now realise I dont remember any phone number of someone in Aus that I can contact should any kind of emergency arise and I need help. No one I could call to come pick me up and drop me home, dont remember flatmates numbers so I can check if they are home. [Coincidentally, just 15 minutes before the incident, my flatmate called to let me know he was going away for the weekend. So I would have been left out in the cold, literally).
So what am I going to do?
Start memorising some phones numbers first thing in the morning!!
Disclaimer - NO the above is not fiction, eventhough it might have been written in such detail that may make you think you are reading a lousy novel of some sort. I suppose Im still in some kind of aftershock mode? The friend that was with me said " Jyoti, you were so brave. I thought you would cry!