Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Cops and Robbers

There have been many positive experiences here in Almaty, but as with anything, there is also a negative side. Yesterday, I discovered this aspect for the first time when I came home after a short shopping trip to find that my house had been robbed. All of my electronic equipment, as well as some clothing, 2 suitcases, and a few other things were missing. As they say here in Almaty, kashmar--or nightmare. On the bright side, no one was hurt. My landlady came right over from work and we spent the afternoon dealing with the police and the embassy.

I must say, it was an interesting experience dealing with the police. I was called a criminal, asked repeatedly for the names of the men that I must have brought into my house (because Kazakh men apparently are irresistible. Must have missed that memo!), and generally treated as if the theft was my fault. While waiting for the embassy officials--because the police legally cannot speak with me without proper representation--the police officers sat on the couch in the living room and read the newspaper. Of course, this is the room that was completely destroyed by the thieves--they had to be shamed into knocking on doors in the building to see if anyone had seen anything.

While the robbery was upsetting (something of an understatement), at least I have many friends here in the city. Word quickly spread and people called and stopped by all afternoon and evening. It was nearly 12 hours later when I had my apartment to myself for the first time since returning home.

I will try to keep in touch as much as possible--but it will be a little more difficult until I can find a way to replace my computer. But possessions can be replaced--the important thing is that no one was hurt.