This is no joke. My ears are burning from the headlock the guy put me in. My ankle is sore from the other guy who kicked me from behind. It was completely surreal. 3 guys who I thought were just out on the town, on there way to a club or something. I was almost clear of them, and the thought hadn’t crossed my mind – Im stupid.
Don’t worry… I may look skinny and fragile.. but when push comes to shove.. Im in great shape and I’m an ex martial arts instructor… which sort of came in handy tonight. So there not a horrible ending to this one, but its all true:
First off Lisbon can be a safe city. I’m not going to become one of those conservative “cities are evil” type people. But at night there are lots of people with money going clubbing, and lots of desperate and angry people preying upon them. So I had no business trying to PODCAST a soundseeing tour through the old neighborhood with my iriver in my chest pocket and my headset mic clearly on my ear. Sure enough, I had actually walked by them earlier, a group of three guys circled back as I walked, one grabbed for head and tried to kick me, both moves caught me by surprise but I caught early and threw him back. Unfortunately at the same time, his friend kicks me in my other leg and I immediately rush to get them all on one side of me to prevent more hits from behind.
I headn’t realized at that moment they had caught my recorder which had popped out of my pocket in the struggle. In my hand was still my camera and in my pockets my money. As a sort of reflex, I prepared myself for the next rush of punches and whatever, I think I half noticed some regular people standing around doing nothing. Thats how the world is, countries are destroyed, and people stand by. People are hurt, and no one does anything — but I knew all about that.
Ow my ankle is throbbing… thats annoying.. anyway to finish the story.. they suddenly decided to run.. and I realized they had my iriver.. and I love podcasting and I wasn’t willing to let this go. I could tell they hadn’t planned this, they way one guy in the group didn’t act at all, almost surprised his friends decided to attack someone. I knew the way they would run, towards the metro, but it was far away, and I knew I could find help on the way, so I tailed them, about one block behind them.
they ducked behind some parked cars, and I spotted a group of street sweepers having a cigarette, the police were too far down the street to go there now. I didn’t want to lose these guys, so I approached the streetworkers and said “gentlemen, I was just mugged, I know the police are down the street, but the muggers are just down the street… if we approach them, I think they will panic and dump what they stole.” Some of the guys tried to look away like I was a begger. Hell I felt like a begger, but this was a call to action. And two of the old men felt that sense of “community acvitism” they followed just behind me as I walked closer to the muggers. The guys noticed me, and started running the other way… I shouted into the night air “Here I am…. I want my shit back.. !” Might sound stupid, but its all that came to mind. And wouldnt you know it, while rushing off, one of them slid my mp3 recorder onto the sidewalk. It was a little scratched up, but in tact. My headset was broken in half, but thats ok.. its worth 5 euros.
The city workers seemed satisfied. Told me to be careful and go home. My ankle is throbbing, I feel less in love with my old city, but mostly — Im disappointed in myself for not using the common sense I’m usually so proud of. (ie- – dont wander around at night recording a podcast like the world is my oyster)