Roller Coaster Sunday

‘God takes care of fools and little children.’ It’s been my motto my entire life. So far it has worked for me nicely. I’ve toddled my way through things and while there were potential dangers – I mostly ignored them. I just kept toddling.

But I digress. I’ll start at the beginning.

We left the house today heading for shopping. But it’s some sort of holiday (I guess the fireworks this AM gave that away) and they were closed when we arrived. We should have known, after walking up the Turia to Campanar to the only El Corte Ingles that is usually open on Sundays, but it was closed. No Dyson vacuum for me today. So we walked up to the tram and headed for Heron City.

After discovering Bauhaus was closed, we had lunch and then decide that bowling at the local bowl-r-rama was in order. I mean, who doesn’t love bowling. We realized we hadn’t been bowling since we bowled with our kids in Snoqualmie at the local pizza bowl. Its across from the town train depot and has just 4 lanes. It’s ramshackle and the guy who makes the pizzas also repairs the mechanics of the place – so the pizza’s have a little black grease on them, but it was part of the charm. $28 for an entire family to bowl and eat pizza on Sunday nights. Golden.

So this time we were both out for blood. No more sand bagging to make our kids feel better. No bumpers or any assistance with rolling the ball down that dinosaur aiming thing. Nope! We were head to head, going for broke. And they even had America sized 13 men’s shoes.

As you’ll see by the photos, I won. At times it was a total blow out. I’m not saying I kicked Jeff’s ass at Spanish bowling. But I kicked Jeff’s ass at Spanish bowling. There is no other way around it. He rallied at the end in the first game but he was no match for me. It’s good he conserved his strength – cause he’d need it later.

We had so much fun! So we went into the arcade area and I decided we should play this insane air hockey game where gobs of pucks come out at the same time. I’m a crazy good air hockey player so I was eager to try this slice of insanity. Needless to say, I again triumphed over Jeff in this game of total chaos. I was crowing about my victory. High fiving strangers. Then I reached for my phone. It was gone. Yes. I had been pick pocketed during our air hockey game.

We looked everywhere. A man and his son helped us after I gave his daughter all my game tickets that had popped out of the slot. I was bereft. Finally, we went up to the counter and asked if anyone had turned it in. No – of course they hadn’t. Someone had lifted my $1200 cell phone from my coat pocket. It was brand new. They recommended I go to the police and file a denunciation. It’s complex but it’s a police report. I’ve never denounced anyone before so I wasn’t really sure what we should do.

We gave my details and Jeff’s phone number to the desk but left knowing it wasn’t coming back. All of my elation from my afternoon of victories was long gone. I felt like a fool. I hadn’t zipped it in an inside pocket. I had let my hubris get the better of me. My enthusiasm for air hockey had hoisted me on my own petard. We walked back to the tram to wait for the train and discovered we had just missed it, as we watched it pull away. Our luck was going south fast.

So we waited the 40 minutes for the next one. In the mean time we became surrounded by a gang. I feel sure they were coordinated. I was a bit teary after my phone being stolen and I think they didn’t know what to do with a crying victim – because I’m very sure they were planning to rob us. When I realized this, I started crying harder and louder. Men – even thieving Men – don’t wanna deal with a crying woman. They looked confused. I got up and Jeff followed. We started walking down the street to the next stop. Eventually the entire gang followed us. And a few more suspects showed up besides.

We sat down at the next stop and one of them approached us and in English he asked for a cigarette.

‘We don’t smoke’ I told him and then easily burst out into tears that were on the surface because of the frustration of losing my phone. I cry when I’m frustrated. It’s just how I’m wired, and my mother will tell you I’m a decent actress. Well Mom – I acted my ass off at that tram stop. You would have been proud. He backed away. What I wanted to say was ‘You don’t know the day I’ve had, Motherfucker, so you don’t want to mess with me.’ But the tears were doing the trick. Jeff just went with it. I was rapidly leaving the neighborhood of ‘Hysterical Female Acres’ heading straight to the border of ‘Unpredictable Crazy Town’. No body knew what I might do. Including me.

They were still circling us like sharks. Some of them with stocking caps and bandanas over their faces. I sobbed louder. Hysterical. Finally the tram came and we got on and sat next to the security guards. Then we got off and got on the subway. It’s the long way home but it felt safer. Jeff put his arm around me.

‘It’s just a phone. We could have been robbed or knifed by those guys at the tram stops but we weren’t. We’ll get it all sorted out tomorrow.’ And he kissed my head. Just then his phone started to buzz.

Turns out, it was the bowling alley calling us to tell us they found a phone in the trash. We hopped off at Angel Gimera and took a taxi back. Sure enough it was my phone. I was so grateful to the girl at the counter – more tears. I mean, my life is in that phone. Banking, photos of my kids, everything.

We took a taxi home – no more Tram drama for me tonight. Jeff made me a Bombay and tonic to calm my nerves – or two. It’s been quite a day. We’re starting to get into our visa renewal process, and crying at the tram station today surrounded by the gang members, after getting pick pocketed at the bowling alley, I had started to wonder if the universe was trying to tell us we should have a rethink. But then it all turned out OK.

God does take care of fools and little children – at least this fool. And for that, tonight, I am eternally grateful.

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