78 – Mugged
Fri 12th Feb, Brashi Guest House, Kahama, Tanzania
Bother. That’s it, i’ve gone and gotten myself robbed. I was headed towards the Taqwa bus station in the morning at 530am when one of the bandits popped out and walked towards me with a huge rock. “Give me money or i kill you”. This was on the main street, then one after another they seemingly popped out of the shadows. I was overpowered by 8 to 10 of them, pushed onto the ground before they helped themselves to my valuables. I was more indignant than afraid, but i knew it was pointless to retaliate. The mob walked away with my stuff, i went after them and asked for my wallet back and got it, without the money of course. In the end, the list of items lost are as follows: 1 camera, 1 nokia handphone, 1 watch, 21USD, 23000 Burundi Franc. The items weren’t that valuable, besides the camera (i had that out to look at the map on it for directions). I lost about 55 SGD of cash in total. The Nokia hp was those basic cheap army ones with no camera or radio functions. And my Casio watch was those retro ones you wear back in primary school. And most of my money (USD etc) were hidden in my money belt tucked inside my pants. The problem is the inconvenience all this has caused me.
First, i have no way to tell what day and time it is (both watch and phone gone), which is very important for all these bus/flight timings. And i now have no alarm clock (phone gone) to wake up for the early buses. I use my camera (you guys can forget about seeing any more photos on this blog until i find some other way to take pictures) to take photos of maps of all the places so i dont have to keep opening the guidebook on my netbook. Now i’ve to copy the maps on pieces of paper. And i got shit rate just now exchanging USD for Tanzanian shillings since i had the exchange rates captured on my camera.
At least i still have my wallet with all my debit/credit cards as well as my passport. And this laptop.Got to be thankful for that.
Ah #&*@, …trying to not let it affect me right now. Took the bus out to Kahama, where i stop for the night before heading off to Mwanza. The border was wasn’t a major one, at the Tanzanian side, they checked my Yellow Fever Vaccination. Took a bit of time too before they decided Singapore passport did not require the 50 USD visa fee. Stayed at the Brashi Guest House (8000 TSH), in the main square of the bus station. Immediately went out to look for a new phone, not so much for calling (my M1 sim card is gone!) but just to get an alarm clock, and some way to tell the time, in the process i also got a local prepaid line. Got myself a ZAIN hp and line (30000 TSH and 500 TSH respectively), thats about 30 SGD. Got some cash out of the ATM (VISA again! Sigh).
Expected this to happen sooner or later. I keep hearing from other travelers i meet about them losing their laptops, cameras etc (like the Jap guy and those Polish dudes). Just upset with myself that I wasn’t very wise not to take a taxi down to the bus station early this morning. Anyway tomorrow i’m headed to Mwanza. Got the tickets off the big Trans Mohamad Limited bus company (8000 TSH).