Thursday, 20 December 2012
Day 255 – A breach in Trevor’s privacy. (Bulgaria)
Whilst enjoying the fine comedy from the previous blog (Day254 – Sandwiches, Sashimi and Snow) we were parked just down the street from the venue in the centre of town, right in front of another bar, a restaurant and next to some sort of unofficial taxi rank. Despite the number of people and cars coming and going continuously around our parking location though, we returned to find that we had been broken into, making this the second time on our trip (the first being in Almaty, Kazakhstan: Blog Day 121 - The inconvenience of having one’s carbroken into).
Ben had been driving and I was sitting in the back seat behind him, so as we reached our respective doors and noticed that they were unlocked, each of us thought “oops, I left my door unlocked, that’s a de-merit point”. (We have a de-merit point system which is in place to punish behaviour such as leaving a door unlocked, stalling the car, leaving a window open, spilling something over the car seat, driving off with our stupid electric back window still down and other such mistakes. Each of us gets three de-merits per day and since no one has ever reached the designated three, we haven’t ever decided what happens if someone was to. It would however, be decidedly heinous. The point of the system is to playfully chastise each other and point out each other’s wrongdoings to make us feel better about our own.) Then we both opened our doors simultaneously and at the same moment as I noticed that the grill separating the back seat and the boot was mangled and bits of our belongings were strewn over the back seat, Ben was confronted with an open glove box and strewn cables and chargers all over the front seats. Realising in this instant that neither of us had made a chastise-able mistake, but in fact we had been broken into, our hearts skipped a beat, then I checked all the windows to find no damage, and Ben checked the driver’s door lock to find a shard of key jammed into the butchered hole.
We lowered our back window which is progressively struggling more and more and looked through the boot to find that Tunkles’ bag, Denner’s bag and the bag known as the “souvenir bag” (mainly mine and Ben’s) were missing. We all have backpacks that were safely in our accommodation, and Ben had taken his big bag in as well. Mine had obviously been picked up and moved, but we’re guessing our thieves had to quickly make a dash for some reason, forced to spare my bag. Ben, Denner and our host spread out to search the nearby alleyways and stairwells, while I looked after Trevor and took a closer look at what might be missing. As far as I could tell none of our chargers had been taken, and fortunately I had removed the video camera and Denner’s camera from their usual storage space of the centre console, just that afternoon. Amusingly my mobile phone had been picked up and dropped on the front seat, obviously not good enough to bother stealing. Our document box was still in tact and the tool box was fine. I found the air pump which we replaced when it was stolen in our previous theft incident, and the medical kit, and as far as I could tell, anything that was left loose had been left loose. None of the journals, notebooks and maps in the backseats had been touched.
While I waited for the others to return I endeavoured to clean up the shambles that was the back seat; bending some of the disfigured metal grill vaguely back into place, just enough that the back seats could be pushed back to an angle that could be sat in, and returned some shoes, maps and hats to the dishevelled boot. An array of dismembered koalas and kangaroos that used to be keyrings which were intended to be gifts for people we met along the way, lay disturbingly across the floor.
After a while Ben returned empty handed and disheartened and headed off in the other direction to keep looking. A bit later Denner and our host returned also empty handed and were just about to continue looking in different spots when we saw a shadow approaching us in the distance. Was it Ben? And was he carrying something? The shadow walked under a street lamp and we realised that yes, it was Ben, and yes, he was carrying something. A bag. It was the souvenir bag, ramshackled but full of our belongings; a journal which had been in Denner’s bag poking out of one pocket, a doll from Uzbekistan, some thermals and lots of other things falling out the top. While I tried to contain everything and place it in the car, they all ran off to try and save whatever else had been left in this particular alleyway.
We retrieved basically everything from the souvenir bag, and a considerable amount of stuff from Denner’s bag, although the actual bag and still quite a few of his things are missing. Even when we went back the following day to have a better search in daylight though, we couldn’t find anything of Tunkles’ anywhere. Denner was sure that his ipod had been in the glove box, which was the only item of any sort of monetary value that had been taken. The following day though we panicked for a minute when Denner couldn’t find his passport, then as we were hurriedly rummaging through everything to look for it, I inadvertently stumbled across the ipod in a trouser pocket.