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Day/Night 34 - Disaster! - April 1, 2013

Today is the day when all the rumors came true.  We were walking to the subway, headed back to the conference, when someone in the crowd grabbed the bag with our documents and laptop and simply disappeared.   It happened so fast that I could not even react.  By the time I knew it was gone, it was vaporized.  The crowd was so thick that I could hardly turn myself to look.  Devastated and enraged, we walked back to the apartment.  But rounding the corner on a quiet street, a couple of men in their 40s beckoned to us.  I tried to shoo them away with a gesture, but then I felt the gun in the small of my back.  The thieves, not content with my laptop, had followed us into a carefully planned trap.  There were two younger men behind us, both armed with small automatic pistols, and my bag.  As we faced the younger men and the street, the older men relieved me of my wallet and even felt my pockets and found the extra cash I had stashed in two extra places.  K suffered only an uncomfortable groping for cash, but lost her iPhone.  They had the place staged perfectly, it looked to any passers-by like a friendly conversation.  All in all they got copies of all our documents (passport, drivers license and the like) laptop, camera, wallet, one credit card, one debit card, two iPhones, and about $850 worth of US and Chilean cash.  And, to be honest, it cost me a pair of underwear as well.  We spent the day in the apartment trying to recover.  I am so angry I could spit pure fire.  We are ready to bag it and head home tomorrow...

One should pay close attention to the date of this posting!

If you were not following the details closely, there is one more bit of bad news:

The reality is that all of the story above is an outrageous lie.  For those unfamiliar with the tradition, on the first of April each year it is normal to tell a completely terrible story that is an absolute lie.  The goal is to tell it so convincingly that it is believed, and at the end to say "April Fools!"

Now that I have had my joke, the real story is much more boring.  We had spent so much time at the conference that we were out of clean clothes, so the morning was spent doing laundry.  But at 8:30 we were alerted to some activity at the Military School across the street (pictured in yesterday's post).  A brass and drum band, very loud along with all the cadets in full dress uniform marched in review for the commanders for about half an hour.  They were in perfect step and the music was also of high quality.  Impressive pomp and circumstance for sure.  With clean clothes, we arrived at the conference late at 10:30 and spent the rest of the day learning about investments in Chile that were legal for US citizens.  We then did some quick grocery restocking and back to the subway at 6:55PM to go to dinner.  This was the height of rush hour, and the platform was thick with people.  The trains were also packed full, and only a handful could get on or off.  By the third train we managed to squeeze in, and there was not even room to lower our hands, which we held above us trying to stabilize against the ceiling.  At our stop I indicated to the man by the door we were getting off, and he nodded.  I squeezed past, but K got blocked.  I grabbed her arm and pulled her from the crowd like a cork out of a wine bottle.  It was all too funny!  A short walk and we met with our new friends at a sushi restaurant (expensive and not very good, the Chilean standard) where we shared laughter and conversation late into the night.  Again we caught the last subway back and got to bed by 11:30PM.

Neon makes this colorful bridge by day also colorful by night


  1. Okay, you got first! Then, as the story got more outrageous I figured out what was going on! Who needs to invest in a business in Chile. You should just retire and write suspense novels! I hate April Fool's day and refused to log onto the computer yesterday because of it! Even ABC news was doing fake stories as part of its morning show. As a result, by the end of the program they had to preface all their stories with, "No, this one is true! Really!" Pretty lame for a supposedly respected news network! I'm glad you are both okay.

  2. Ha, ha. I suppose I should have looked at the date of the posting, but you got me.

  3. was wondering how you were publishing this post with your laptop stolen :)