25.03.2009 - 27.03.2009
You always look back and think “what if”. You replay incidents over and over in your head. It is a natural human reaction, and I am especially prone to it. What if... If only... Why didn't I... But for me, the worst part is always that momentary instant (are all instants momentary? answers on a postcard, please) where you realise that there is nothing more you can do. That moment of resignation, failure and utter helplessness is always, for me, worse than the anger.
Most cities have their good and bad parts. Most places have their more dangerous spots. Many places all over the world should be avoided or at least taken in great care after dark. However for a group of 4 to be robbed at knife, and then gun-point (its amazing how a small gun suddenly raised and pointing at your chest pretty much ends your resistance), 400m from the hostel at 5.45pm in broad daylight on a busy city road in the middle of rush-hour Windhoek and with literally hundreds of witnesses not one of whom stopped to help, just isn't good. If it had been Detroit or Nairobi or Johannesburg, or in a dodgy part of town it might be a bit different, but a major thoroughfare in one of Africa's safest countries and cities? It really sours the whole experience.
Happily and luckily, all 4 of us are and were physically fine. The thieves 'booty' of one bag, one wallet, one passport, 2 cameras and 3mobile phones could also easily have been much worse as well. The passport was replaced at great expense but relative easy and Susse could fly home as scheduled. Credit cards and mobile phones were canceled without huge problem either. The police were also surprisingly efficient at taking the statements, and peoples insurance are now dealing with the rest of the problems. But the most annoying thing is the photos. It always is. Sh1t happens. I know that. The girls know (or, at least, have suddenly now realised) that. But just because you know it happens and the law of averages says that it will eventually happen to you as well really isn't of much comfort. Although I personally lost nothing it is of no real consolation. It was just a very sad way to end what had been a great time in Namibia.