Let me tell the tale of this Danger Supplement as concisely as I can…(in other words, not concisely at all)
Friday, November 27th. We’d returned to the city from Ilha Grande and hired a few cabs to take us to the hopping party neighborhood of Lapa. We made our way down its congested main street, through all the partiers and revelers, and crossed the street to this the pictured traffic island leading through the famous arcos of Lapa. When we got to the far less crowded (meaning: vacant) this little band of grinning boys, I’d say 11 to 13 in age, approach us. They’re just smiling and laughing and coming up to us and I think “Oh brother (eyes roll, mentally), these brats want our money” and by want our money my brain meant “would like handouts.” Chateau says “These kids are the worst!” and I think “Yeah, because they want me to give them my money!” and I hustle along a little quicker with my peoples to get away from these punks.
Thinking about it, this whole thing happened so fast, instantaneously even.
They way it seems in my month plus old memory is we’d just barely passed through the arcos and these scamps have scurried off. What a relief! But my groupmates are like “Wow, Chateau, I can’t believe you shoved that kid!” and Chateau asks “Is everyone okay?” And I, in my brain, am like “Yeah, I’m fine. I didn’t have to give anyone any money.” And the girls are like “Yeah…I’m fine, they were all grabby at me, but I’m okay.” And we’re like “Noelle, are you fine?” And Noelle, so non-chalant, so chill, so NBD (“no big deal”) is like “Yeah, I’m fine, I mean…they got my camera, but whatever” and here she points to her shoulder where she had been hanging her little point and shoot and all she’s got is the cord it was hanging on…I don’t know if it got cut off or yanked off but it was cleanly removed from that which secured it to her body, that’s for sure. Chateau turns and runs back a few paces to regulate but the scamps are, of course, totally disappeared into the night. This all happened so fast! You need to understand that the past paragraphs occurred like in the blink of an eye.
So there was, of course, a sense of “Oh no, Noelle! Your camera! Your pictures!” and “What are we going to do about this?” and “Can we still have fun?” amongst the group from this point on.
Now, consider me, consider how well I dealt with this robbery. I didn’t deal with it well at all. All I thought about before going to Brazil was if I was going to get robbed and execution style-murdered and now a street robbery had occurred in my very group. I was, as far as I could tell, in a crowded social area surrounded by nothing but thieves! I held my little D-Lux 2 so tightly in my pocket, it took it out with such super-cautious care whenever I dared take a picture it was ridiculous. The loss of my camera would have been too much to stand, the pinnacle of what could not happene to me on vacation, but also the one thing I sensed would certainly happen to me if I went to Rio. I was such a freaked-out, jumpy, on-edge dude the whole rest of that night. There was a point where we were all posted up against the outer wall of a major club as Chateau consulted with police and I felt like I had this superpower that wasn’t a very good superpower where I could look at any person, no matter who they were, and see that they wanted to steal everything we had.
I guess I really don’t handle other people getting street robbed well at all, but come on! They stole Noelle’s camera. Who does that? Terrible little punk kids, that who. If I had known they were thieves, not beggers, man I would have loved to have shoved a few myself.