Monday, 10 August 2009

The post you have all been waiting for, 25 July 2009

The one where Amy nearly got mugged.

Now, please note, the lack of appreciation for the Big Flower is absolutely unrelated to the experience that I am about to account. The Big Flower was just average, but the Big Flower experience becomes all the more exciting with this here tale...

I tried so hard to see the beauty and splendour of the Flower, but I just couldn´t quite catch it. My feet were aching a little so I decided to take a seat on a bench and try and admire the flower some more.

As I approached my chosen bench I checked that it was clean so that I wouldn´t be sitting in any dirt or anything, and there I sat watching the world go by when a middle aged couple came towards me.

I had seen them doing the touristy thing and taking a photo of the flower a few minutes before and here they were coming towards me talking in Spanish about the fruit on the tree above me.

I didn´t really understand what they were saying, but I assumed they were warning me about the fruit that may fall from the tree and hit me on the head... I had all sorts of visions that I would become another statistic in the coconut death toll. I thanked them for their warning and got up from my bench.

Then I understood the man saying ´Agua Caliente´ aka Hot Water. I was perplexed, what did hot water have to do with falling fruit. I thanked the man and his wife and then noticed I had gunk on my arm.

It all became clear... I wasn´t at risk of death from a fruit falling on my head and knocking me out, I was sat under a fruit tree and the sap was dripping on to me. Claro! Of course! And I quickly figured that hot water was the way to get it off.

But then alarm bells started to ring as I noticed more gunk on my bag. If the fruit on the tree was dripping sap, why was there no sap on the bench when I sat down?

I had a flashback to a conversation I had in the hostel the night before where a girl was telling me about ´the mustard trick´ in Ecuador. ´So me and my boyfriend were walking along and a couple came up to us and pointed out that we had mustard on us. My boyfriend took his back pack off his back, took his jacket off and the couple helped us with tissues to mop down the dirtied coat. My boyfriend realsied he also had it on his leg so started to mop that up too. There was a bit of a fuss, and then i noticed a third person come over and make a sweep for my boyfriend´s back pack which was on the floor. Luckily I noticed what was going on and put my foot on the strap of his bag just in time. When the couple realised that their time number was up they backed off and did a runner as did the third guy.´

Instantly I knew that this wasn´t tree sap. I thanked the couple for their help in pointing the gunk out to me and I walked towards the large group of people that had gathered near the flower. As I walked away the woman came up to me with a tissue. I told her that i was fine and produced the tissue that I had eaten my lemon drizzle cake on and started to mop myself up as I moved closer the large group.

Ok, they didn´t get anywhere near to my hand bag, and at their closest theyr were three feet away from me, but I still felt ridiculously violated. I walked to a mall with a toilet that i had used earlier in the day and mopped myself up. Tree sap! This smelt like Immac Hair Removal Cream, it was minging, and a night mare to clean up. It was all over me.

I wandered back to the hostel and replayed the scene over and over again in my head. There must have been a thrid person who had daubed me in gunk without me realising as I wandered round the flower. I just couldn´t fathom it all. I had come so close to being mugged that i scared me a bit. By the time i reached the hostel I was fine and I had calmed myself down and so I recounted my story to Rhiannon and Chris who listened intently as I told my tale.

Now, if this sitaution hadn´t worked out the way it did, and they had done a runner with my bag all they would have got would be a bag with an empty purse, a map and a lollipop. You see, my coat has loads of pockets, like 8 pockets, so my camera, phone, money, keys are ALWAYS stashed in these pockets. It certainly made me realise just how important it is to be alert and on the ball. You here so many tales of robberies and muggings in South America that it could almost put you off travellign the place, but I realised that by being switched on and cautious I had managed to evade any real danger. Of course, given that my bag is empty, I would have hadned the bag straight over if they pulled a knife on me. But I´m still thanking my lucky stars that this incident turned out to be a near hit.

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