Saturday, August 17, 2013

Breaking and Entering

What does it feel like to have everything that is valuable stolen from you? It is hard to say - until you've defined what valuable means to you.

I am glad that I am writing this blog from Thailand, after creating new memories with Kurt, which I have learned, no one can steal from you. 

One evening, about a week ago today, Kurt and I decided to go grab a massage (we can't seem to get enough of those!) and dinner at a local place in the area. We had been gone a mere 2 1/2 hours when we pulled up to our house and noticed that our gate was left ajar. Thinking about how much of an idiot I was to have left the gate open, Kurt slipped into our home to find that someone had broken in. Not knowing what to do, I realized I was nervous that someone might still be in the house. I came to see that human nature is a beautiful thing as the only thing i was worried about was Kurt's safety. It wasnt until much later that we began to think about what stolen. I was really glad to see our neighbor pull up around the same time Kurt went in to clear the house.

I had a million questions for him. Has anyone in the neighborhood been robbed before? Are the criminals ever violent? Do they come when you're sleeping? Did you see anyone? Should we call the police? You see, Kurt and I have been traveling non stop since we arrived in Bali, that we haven't had the time (and should have made the time) to get to know our neighbors. We learned that yes, there have been robberies in the past but it doesn't happen if you take the correct precautions. It brought me some peace of mind to know that Kurt at least had someone to check the house with him as I nervously paced around outside. 

The thieves left almost no tracks. No windows were broken, no messes were left - they literally walked in to our home, propped open our window with a screw driver and took our things. I know you all want to know what they took - so here is the list! 2 laptops, 2 iPads, an awesome camera, a hard drive, a couple watches, some cash, my epi pen :( and my journal dammit! Our police report states that we lost about $4000 in things. So what do you do when you find out you've been robbed in Bali? Call the police? Call the "banjar" (head of the neighborhood)? Or simply do nothing? We started calling all of our friends for advice.

Some said the police wouldn't do anything, some said to call the banjar, some said that nothing can be done, some said that the tourist police in Bali might be of some help.... At around midnight, we decided the thieves were long gone and we just wanted to sleep. And so we did.

Neither of us could really sleep that night. You don't really know if you're in any danger, but the thought of a stranger going through your bedroom - is unsettling. We woke up still unsure of what to do and decided that it wouldn't hurt to at least try and talk to the police. At least that way we would have a slight chance of finding the thieves and we would also begin to build a relationship with the local police. 

I wanted to take the time to say that as someone who grew up in Indonesia, I was always quick to say that all police here are useless and corrupt. I have to say that although the police have yet to find our thieves, i am grateful that they were all kind and willing to help in anyway possible. The undercover officers that came to investigate our house, actually sent a handyman to help us fix the broken handle. They also gave us many tips on how to not attract thieves. Apparently our house had a million "easy to rob" flags. 

So what have we learned from this experience? Get to know our neighbors, take the time to secure our house when we leave, have friends check on our house when we are out of town and GET TO KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORS. The most important lesson I have personally learned from this  experience is that no one can steal my life. Although I was heart broken that I lost years of photos and everything I've ever written - that doesn't erase any of those things from my past.

We had to fly to Kuala Lumpur 48 hours after our things were stolen, but as I sat at the dinner with Ma and Ayah, Kurt, Iman and Ashraf - I felt blessed to know that no one could steal this moment. My memories are mine for the keeping and each day I get to create many more.

(HAVING TWO EXTRA LOCKS ADDED TO EACH WINDOW)

(FILING THE POLICE REPORT AT THE LOCAL POLICE STATION)
Kurt will fill you all in on our trip to Thailand!

All my love,

Estelle

(P.S) If you have the chance - listen to my favorite country song that always reminds me of what means the most! Zac Brown Band - Chicken Fried

"It's funny how it's the little thing in life that mean the most
Not where you live, what you drive or the price tag on your clothes
There's no dollar sign on a peace of mind, this i've come to know
So if you agree, have a drink with me,
Raise your glasses for a toast

To a little bit of chicken fried
And cold beer on a Friday night
A pair of jeans that fit just right
And the radio on"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ed49S2nyBD0

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