The Lucky Unlucky Time I Was Held Up at Knife Point and Other Happenings

Yup…that happened:

I suppose if you’re going to have somebody shove a Freddy Kruger knife in your face and try to rob you…it’s probably best that you have ZERO objects of value on your person. Such was my lucky unlucky moment this past Friday outside my friend’s house. The good news is that nothing bad happened…the bad news is that even traquilo little Santarém obviously has its share of danger…

Long story short, it was 11 at night and I was walking to my friend’s house to hang out for a little bit. I’ve walked around the area about one million times (much later at night mind you) and never felt sketched out or in danger. That said, as I approached the front gate I felt somebody brush up against me from behind. Thinking it was just a neighbor trying to get in the gate I thought absolutely nothing of it. That all changed when I realized the person had grabbed me by the collar and was standing in front of me wearing a motorcycle helmet and brandishing a 10 inch (seriously…it was a big bleeper of a knife) knife. The kind gentlemen then proceeded to say “Give me everything you have or I’ll kill you.” Real nice…I know. Anyways, by plain, old random luck, I was TOO LAZY to change out of my pocketless soccer shorts when I left the house and I decided to leave my phone, wallet, and other items of value…at home (I only had a keychain around my neck). I demonstrated my pocketless shorts and proceeded to say, “Sorry…I literally don’t have anything.” To which he responded, “Ok,” let go of me, hopped on his partner’s motorcycle, and drove off. I guess he picked the wrong Gringo…

It still confuses me that the guy would roll so heavy with a giant knife, threaten to kill me…and then casually walk away when I informed him that I didn’t have anything. A peculiar assailant…to say the least…

Children’s Day spike in violence:

Brazil has a bizarre criminal justice system. Without getting to analytical (criminal justice reform is one of my major passions and I don’t want to bore you)…I have to say that the following fact I learned yesterday baffles me: For most major holidays a large number of inmates nationwide are permitted to pack their bags and spend time at home…100% unsupervised. While I’m immensely in favor of protecting (and expanding) prisoner’s human rights, I’m not sure how the law really does anything other than piss the public off. Indeed, unsurprisingly, there is a large incidence of prisoners fleeing during home visits and people frequently complain of crimewaves following major holidays.

That said, two weeks ago was “Children’s Day” (yes Brazil even has a national holiday for that) and the story around Santarém has been about the prison system’s 30 lost inmates and a major spike in violence citywide. Whether or not the situation on Friday night is at all connected to the recent events is anybody’s best guess…but the escapee debacle is certainly worth mentioning.

Well I’ve finally uploaded one of our radio programs for your listening pleasure…a classic from Bob Dylan! P.S Enjoy listening to my ever-so wonderful voice…I know you all have probably missed it…

The radio show:

As I sit here reflecting on the radio show, I can’t help but acknowledge that “English Through Music” is one of our most significant contributions to date. While teaching has been at times maddeningly unproductive (a.k.a March-June), over the past eight months Val has really given us an opportunity to contribute to his project…and for that I am eternally grateful. The two to three hours we put into recording sessions every Monday afternoon are always chock-full of Valisms (a.k.a Val saying something absurd and everybody laughing), good times, and…dare…I…say…it…productivity. Without the show, I know I probably would have beaten my head into a concrete wall at some point in June 2012 so if nothing else…thank you for preventing that Val.

In other news, it was really exciting to here this week that plans are in the works to incorporate our shows into the PARFOR English curriculum. It’s nice to know that despite all of the teaching frustrations, Donovan and I will certainly leave a mark with the show in the years ahead!

Other happenings:

  • For my loyal northeastern readers: Happy Hurricane Day! Stay safe
  • November 6th is little more than a week away…HOW…DID…THAT…HAPPEN?
  • I’ve got a major job interview later this week…which was postponed because of Sandy…wish me luck!
  • Given the 1 million references to “Gagnum Style,” I finally watched the video yesterday. Although it took me 30 minutes to load at the mall, at least I can now say that I’ve seen it…I guess…
  • Jack Wilshere is officially playing first team football for Arsenal Football Club…I needn’t say more.

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed reading this…IF you still have electricity/internet (Ha…a little slice of my daily reality in the U.S of A). That’s all I have for now. The end. Until next Monday, have a good week.



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