It was a classic.
Lost in Brussels I had boarded a packed Tram to get to somewhere where I knew, I had been on my mobile and had put it in my pocket. A guy brushed past me and bumped into me, I saw his face and was annoyed that he was so clumsy. I got off the Tram.
My mobile had gone.
I had failed to see the classic pick pocketing ploy, I was so stupid, but that doesn’t excuse crime, I had failed to see what had happened. I had lost my phone, my Credit Card, and the rather cute picture of my partner on the phone. To be honest I am more annoyed at losing the picture of Holger than anything else.
There was a lot of things I failed to see.
I had failed to see the people around me, I had failed to notice the person on the Help Desk at Brussels Nord who was giving me directions to the Police Office in his limited English (my brain is now hardwired into trying to speak in German, my partner is German, and what little French I knew has evaporated, or will not come back to me easily). Being told by the Police Office to go Brussels Sud and having to ask directions I had failed to notice the people begging on the street because I had lost an expensive Mobile. People who are thinking where they are going to sleep, if they will be able have a meal, I failed to see them because I had my phone stolen
I failed to see that I could have a ‘Spare’ Mobile which I used to ask for help getting the telephone number, and failed to see that @TabithaNYC was probably doing something at work and very kindly broke off to tweet me the number of my Bank, and then again the number of O2. I failed to see that @Mags_Cat was telling me that she was dealing with the District Nurse and couldn’t help. I did see that but couldn’t process that.
I didn’t see the help at Brussels Sud in finding the Police Station, again the SNCB person who directed me to the Police Office, he had his prescription stolen a week earlier, and only now I am beginning to see that the Belgium Health Service is different to ours, why would we report a stolen prescription. I failed to see that I live in a country where if I lose my prescription I just go to the Doctors and get another one, I failed to see how much I take that for the norm.
I failed to see the Police Officers patiently filling in forms and letting me use their phone to finally get in touch with O2 to block the phone. More than anything I failed to see how easily I could just ‘get the next train home’ and whilst it is a massive inconvenience, and a financial cost to replace the handset it does not mean I will go without food this month, it means I will not be able to spend the weekend trainspotting at Loughborough, or eat out for a while.
The major thing I fail to see is the person who stole my phone. Why did he need to do it, why did his conscience allow him to do it. I am assuming this is not his first crime, and probably not his last, what turns somebody to crime? Are the pressures of our society so great that we ‘must have’ more than we need, or afford?
I will never see how this person’s life turns out, will it involve more crime (I refuse to call it petty) or will he, with luck, move on from it to a more stable life, but chances are that he will not, will he move from crime of opportunity to more organised crime. I wonder what his friends are like, I wonder if the elation of getting my Samsung will last more than a few hours, or a day, and that the emptiness of ‘wanting’ will begin to gnaw at him again, or will it be sold to feed a drug addiction? I will never know, but I have the questions.
I need to dissect this, the reason for this blog, and move away from the primal feeling of retribution and punishment. I need to move away from the primal feeling for revenge because that is not where I want to live.
There is so much I fail to see, and I am turning this around, I want to use this experience to help me see, to turn this into a positive.
I have lost an object, it holds no sentimental value, only a residual monetary one