So, I got robbed last night...
Last night I celebrated my 22nd birthday with a few people in my apartment. As the night got late, everyone started to head home.
One of my friends asked if I would walk her to the center to get a taxi. Having walked to the center, I got her a cab, and she left.
Alone, I went to one of the few stores open at 0330. Inside there were 3 young Russian who were all very excited to have met an American. Discovering that it was my birthday, we all had a couple of drinks together.
Soon after, I decided to take a taxi home. I figured, "Well, it is a about -14 degrees (Celsius) today, I might as well take a taxi. The ride will cost less than $2."
Well, on the way home the driver decided to rob me.
My memories of the whole night are few and far between... It is what a blow to the head will do to you.
I distinctly remember refusing to give him my money... And lots of yelling... Then everything got black.
My host lady found me laying in the hallway. I don't remember how I got home, or locking/bolting the door, but I did.
I assume that it was a bit of a primitive instinct to get home, no matter what. Had I been laying unconscious on the street for the night, I would have certainly gotten frostbite.
I have a concussion. And I am pretty bruised all-over. I had a ton of cash stolen, my credit cards, a bank card, and my cell phone.
When I woke-up the next morning, I had slept for about 11 hours (I normally sleep 7-8) and I still felt exhausted... It felt like I had not slept in a week.
I went to the police station, with a friend, to file a report. After two hours at the station, they concluded that nothing could be done (as I don't remember the make of car, the driver's name, etc).
My host told my neighbor what had happened to me. The neighbor is an elderly woman who kept saying, "the Russians are good people... He was just a bad apple."
Initially I agreed with her. On the whole I like Russians. Though I personally like the minorities in Russia more than the majority (in Russia, all but one of my friends, is either Catholic, Jewish, Polish, Uzbekhs, European or African).
Of course, I would still strongly encourage people to study in Russia. Granted, I am the third person (in my group of 12 Americans) to be robbed in less than 4 months, but their are robberies and muggings in DC, too. I remember that someone got robbed at knife-point on GMU's campus just last year.
I will say that the ACTR (the organizer of my study abroad program) has expressed quite a bit of concern for my well-being. This morning my director was trying to force me to the hospital (I won't go). He seems legitimately concerned and took (what sounded like) copious notes as we talked over the phone.
I hope that you avoid such enlightening cultural experiences...
*** This is a rewrite of the article which I wrote yesterday. Yesterdays, like today's, may suffer from some incoherence... But that's what concussions are like!