>Today I had my first day of class for my TEFL-Certification. It went well. There are only four of us in the class and the teacher seems really great so far. I have my first teaching practice next Monday! Scary!
Anyway, what I really wanted to write about happened on my way home from class, which is near metro Tobalaba, for all of you familiar. I had to go buy an adapter thing for my computer because my old one only worked to charge the battery when the computer was turned off, which was slightly inconvient. But I digress. The point is, I ended up walking down 11 de Septiembre (a street) to get to the store, and ended up between two metro stations, so decided to take a micro (bus) instead. I saw an empty seat, so I thought I’d sit down but for some reason decided against it. I was standing against the wall, minding my own business. We had been stopped for awhile waiting for people to get on, but the micro driver forgot to shut the back door (it was one of those super long micros). All of a sudden, I see a flash out of the corner of my eye and this young guy goes running out of the micro. He had grabbed the purse from a lady who was sitting IN THE SEAT I WAS GOING TO SIT IN. I got totally shaken up, and I felt so bad for her as she started to cry. At the same time, I clutched my bag even tighter.
Unfortunately, this is a common occurence in Santiago. I have been on micros before where some kind soul (suprise! they do exist in Santiago) has told me not to go to the back of the bus because someone is back there pickpocketing. When I went to Valparaiso once, a group of teenage guys stole my friend’s purse right off her lap (she was even being super cautious and had the strap wrapped around her wrist, but they were so strong it broke.) I’ve even been robbed before, but it was a pick-pocketing in Chiloe and I didn’t realize until afterward when I went to take out my wallet and it wasn’t in my purse. Somehow when you see the face of the person who has just stolen from you it’s worse.
This, however, was the first time I had actually witnessed someone being ripped off in Santiago. After I got off the bus, I saw this guy and I thought he was coming at me to take my stuff (even though I had a death grip on it) but really he was just getting out of the way of someone else. It makes me not want to trust people, which I don’t like.
I’m already really cautious with my things, but this incident will make me even more so.
P.S. Family, don’t freak out! I’m fine. Really.