Well, up to now, I’ve been having pretty good luck with the whole crime aspect of the Philippines. Haven’t gotten pick-pocketed, robbed, jumped, kidnapped, burglarized or any of the other unpleasant aspects of living upon God’s Green Earth. Coming from a rough inner city where one could hear the sounds of gunshots just about every day, living here has been a balm of sorts – the only shootings I have seen have been on the television (locally motorcycle drive-by’s and internationally be-headings by some militants in the Middle East who are trying to create their own little caliphate or something). Also – I must note – I have heard stories from other retirees and expats in the Philippines of their own experiences with crime – the vast majority of them burglaries but with some more violent robberies notes as well.
That all came to an end this morning when I received a call from Michell. She was (audibly) distressed and first said only that “something bad had happened.” Now personally, it drives me crazy when people did this, especially people that I love, because all I can imagine is the worst – and with Michell, it’s that she has been in a horrific scooter accident and is in a body cast as some local hospital! Thankfully, that wasn’t the case. On the other side of the hand, however, she did relay to me that our wonderful little RUSI 125 scooter was nowhere to be seen. Uh oh…… I told her to look around some more and if she couldn’t find it, to go to the police station and file a “blotter report” (incident report) on it. We hung up, and I found myself in that whole denial aspect of bad news – I puttered around making coffee (I had been playing Bioshock-Infinite on the PS3 prior to the call) and thought to myself that she was just tired and had forgotten where she parked it.
About a half hour later I heard the yard gate creak open, but I didn’t hear the RUSI. Uh oh again….. Michell came in looking all kinds of upset and we hugged and she lamented the loss of her first scooter. I had dug through all my paperwork in the meantime and had finally found the registration (with plate number) for our missing family member. Leaving her to sleep after her night-long work shift (I don’t think she actually slept), I zipped down to the PNP (Philippines National Police) office only to be told that you don’t report motor thefts there but at another location. Sounds legit, and it’s something I am pretty much used to at this point. I dutifully sped off to the second location near the capital building which turned out to be the Highway Patrol. I didn’t see Ponch or John anywhere abouts, but a guy in shorts and t-shirt gathered my information and typed up a report. This took about an hour which was cool, as I didn’t have a whole lot to do today anyways. At the end of the report makining, I asked him what the recovery rate for stolen motorbikes was in Dumaguete and was pleasantly suprised to find out that around 60% of the bikes eventually get recovered. Seeing as our RUSI has a whole lot of sentimental value (it’s Michell’s first scooter and I really enjoy using it for short hops around town), I am hoping we are going to be in that 60%.
Keep your fingers crossed!
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