My Experience with the Intern Mugger (Throwback)
Previously published on old blog space.
Few things to remember while being mugged:
No eye contact, no fidgeting, no sudden movements, no movie stunts(007 is filmed on set and James is not his real name...now you know), most importantly, pray like your life depends on it.....because it does.
I pray younever get mugged, it's the second worst situation ever, right after being on a plane with a malfunction(that you can do without also). If you've never experienced mugging and you wondered a little what the experience might be like...here's my experience!!!
There I was, on a cloudy Thursday morning in Ikeja, Lagos, walking down my street to get a cab to work. I remember the air was fresh and smelt of wet earth (because it had rained the night before). I trotted along, walking on air and happier than a clown (I love rainy days). It was one of those days nothing could even think about going wrong.
"Good Morning, sister", A voice says behind me. I turn to look at him.
"Good Morning", I chirped gleefully.
"Give me your bag."
What??! Wait, what was happening? And then I dropped my gaze and there pointed at me, was a gun. It was such an inelegant gun. If I was going to get shot, definitely not with this ugly gun. It made me just imagine an old blacksmith hitting some metal scraps to make a weapon, including milk tins.
Only in Lagos, would my mugger say 'hey' and even call me "sister". *rme*
At this point, my adrenaline and cortisol is pumping overtime. I quickly look around and there is an old lady about fifty feet away, setting up her roasted plantain (boli) grill. About twenty feet up the road from her, was a man who measures and pumps tires for a living (aka vulcanizer, which I think is a Nigerian word, not a real word by the way lol...they are called foka for short, pun unintended). They both glance at me and continue their morning preparations...this was that moment, that defining moment when I knew the spirit of community was stone dead in Lagos and that I was never buying boli from that woman ever again.
Boli lady had hurt me.
Lagos had hurt me. Lagos hurts everyone who loves it, but we still hang around and love it a bit more. It's a bitter-sweet relationship that only Lagosians can understand.
That's true love, right there.
Back to the story, after being snubbed by "Iya oni boli*" and "foka", I looked down the road for any unjaded passers-by.
It was 6.30 am, some one was bound to show up, right? Another okada, a fellow commuter, anyone!!! The police would have been nice too...with their station just less than a mile away!
I had to stall, someone would come to my rescue. I looked at him. He was dark and young, wearing a sad brown shirt(not its original color). His face was unsure and I felt like he might just add the word "please" to his demand. Hmmm...a newbie. So I took a chance and decided to appeal to his humane side (Don't do this at home guys, I am a professional lol).
" Please, can I take my work ID? It's all I need,"I asked.
" OK." He says, urging me with a 'go-ahead' gesture with his metal-contraption-gun-thing which I'm sure was Made in Ojota.
Immediately, I dive into my bag and find my ID, then I push it aside, pretending to look for it.
Someone had to come up the road any minute now. They had to rescue me from this intern-mugger and his rickety weapon. Stalling. Intern mugger looks up the road uncomfortably, he was getting impatient but said nothing. He was such a nice guy, really. Lol.
Then, suddenly a bike appears, with a man on it!!!
O yes!! My Hero was here, though his skin looked a little bleached but "hey, Beggars are not Choosers."
My bleached Hero pulls up beside us. Face, mean and strong like any Hero's face would be.
Intern turns around and looks at Hero... he didn't seem very alarmed.
Hero scowls at him, then me, and says to intern, "Shoot her!!!"
At this point, I concluded that humanity was truly in need of a Savior. He apparently wasn't my hero, he was the intern's supervisor! "SHOOT HER!!", he insisted.
Intern looked pleadingly at me, it was either he didn't want to shoot or his contraption had no bullets and it was all a bluff. Hero-turned-bike-riding maniac kept screaming "Shoot her!" I handed over the bag and intern jumped on the back of the bike and rode away with his manager.
I was more sad about the fact that Hero was NOT my Hero than the loss of my beautiful Guess handbag. I was also sad that Hero was almost purple from incessant bleaching. I saw skin disease in his future. I ran home miserable and void of all my items. Everything was in there; my blackberry, my wallet plus bank cards, my makeup purse, the famous work ID card, my bible, my shoes for work (I had walked down the street in flats to catch a cab), my lunch, even!!!
It was quite the experience.
Have you had a mugging experience? Would love to hear about it! Share below!!!
*Iya oni boli (Yoruba language) : A woman who sells roasted plantain as street food.