There’s been a rash of robberies in our neighborhood in the past couple of weeks. I’m not harping on the dangers here, just reporting the facts.

Another consulate worker was robbed as she parked on the street in our area … at 3:30 in the afternoon. A motoboy parked in front of her car, walked to the driver’s window, said he had a gun, and demanded her money. She gave it to him, he demanded more, she said she had no more, and he got on his bike and rode away.

A day later, a man went to a bank in our neighborhood and was robbed as he tried to get into his car at the curb. A motoboy rode up beside him at the open door, pulled a gun and stuck it in the man’s stomach, and demanded his money. Everyone saw it happening. The thief rode away. The man was shocked, but unharmed.

On Wednesday, I needed money. Typically, Tom gets it from the bank at work, but something came up and I needed it that afternoon. So, I had to walk to the bank. A friend said she and her driver would take me en route to our event, but I had to take the dogs out for a walk, so I figured I’d suss out the situation and, if it felt safe, would go to the inside ATM at our bank.

I did, it felt safe, and I got my money, no problem. True, as I turned to exit the bank, I slipped my credit card and most of the cash into my own personal vault (Titty-City National), but also openly put some of the cash in my pocket (figured if I was being watched, that stash would be reported). We’re told to carry only what we’re willing to lose, and it has to be enough to satisfy the thieves. I figured R$100 would be reasonable.

But I wasn’t worried. I walk home three blocks on crowded streets, and there are tons of people who would hear my blood-curdling scream if someone pointed a gun at me. The last time I’d been to the bank alone, a man stepped out in front of me and stopped in the middle of the sidewalk, just looking at the road, as I walked home along the only vulnerable area between the bank and home, a third of a block with driveways and no stores. There weren’t many people on the street, since it was before the lunchtime crowds. My hackles rose, and so I stopped and stared in the window of the toy hospital a couple of yards from him, and stared, and stared, and stared some more, until he finally walked away. Then I hightailed it home. That day, I was walking alone.

This time was different; I’d taken the monsters with me. No one messes with the Krakens!

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