Friday, January 6, 2012

On the First Day of Christmas, Someone Stole Our Car

Our holiday adventure in Madagascar began on a Friday, when we set out driving (OK, Kathy was driving and I was just riding along beside her) to Johannesburg. Our flight to Madagascar was on Saturday morning, so we planned to spend the night at a lodge in Jo'burg. Along the way, I saw this and, as a vegan, had to photograph it. Little did I know that it would be the last photo I ever took from the little Mitsubishi we bought after we arrived in Lesotho (and I had shot thousands from that front passenger seat):

After arriving in the Jo'burg neighborhood of Sandton, we checked in at the Oasis Guest House. A lovely spot:

Then, with time to spare, we got directions to the Sandton City Center mall, to see if we could find a good rain jacket for Kathy, as she was going to need it for our trip. We found a spot for our car in the mall parking garage, which had a gate where you take a ticket and guards seemingly everywhere. We went into the mall, shopped for about an hour and a half, then went back to where we had left our car. Note the phrasing: not "back to our car" but "back to where we had left our car." You see, it was not there. Stolen. Pilfered. Lifted. Pinched. Gone, baby, gone...

A very surreal moment.

We then spent a couple of hours with mall "security" and the police, filing reports, etc., and learning that ours was the sixth vehicle stolen from that garage that month. Apparently, the thieves were targeting cars with foreign plates like ours (we had Lesotho plates). We do not ever expect to see it again.

In one of those strange turns of the human mind, what Kathy and I have focused on most is not that someone stole our car, but that our IPods were in the glove box. They can keep the car, but please send back our tunes. I had over 8,500 songs on mine and had spent a year putting those on there, keying in many - MANY - song titles by hand. Sigh.

But, as we have said more than once, it could have been worse. We could have gone to the mall before checking in at our lodge, in which case they would have gotten our luggage and my new travel guitar as well as our music. Or, worst case scenario, we could have been in the car at the time. In the end, we had our lives and our stuff, minus a few small electronic devices, and we were able to continue on our way the next morning...

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