Tuesday, June 22, 2010

In which our stroller disappears. Ugh.

Did I mention that our stroller disappeared? We brought our umbrella stroller with us from Ithaca to use for the summer. It wasn't in the best shape and it was pretty close to not being tough enough for Egypt use, but we brought it anyway so we didn't have to buy one here. When we moved into our apartment on the fifth floor, for the first few days we hauled the stroller up and down the stairs with us and kept it inside the house.

Then we decided that was ridiculous (and really annoying). Speaking generally, the Middle East is one of the most crime-free regions on earth. Or at least large swaths of it are. Why shouldn't we just leave the stroller where we actually needed it - at the bottom of the stairs? I was 100% sure it wouldn't get stolen. Otherwise, I wouldn't have done what I did: collapsed it and tucked it out of sight behind the stairwell inside our building, up a flight of stairs and behind a closed door from the street.

The next day, the stroller was gone.

At first, I was sure it had been inadvertently relocated. The idea that it had been stolen was not even a possibility. We tracked down the bowab (caretaker of the building) and asked if he had moved the stroller somewhere. He said he hadn't. But he had seen the stroller there in the stairwell and feigned surprise that it wasn't there anymore.

But now I'm coloring my retelling of the events with what I came to believe later. It took me a good week or two to understand that someone had, in fact, totally ripped off our stroller. I can finally accept that, but what I can't accept is that it was a random person off the street. It's just too implausible, even more implausible than the stroller being stolen at all in the first place. The thief would have had to exit the street, go up a flight of stairs to our building, open a door, go past the stairs, and peer around the stairwell to the alcove where our stroller was stored, very small and folded up. And the rare person who would have done that by chance would also have to be the rare person who would decide to steal said stroller. All within the first 24 hours of the stroller even being there.

I don't want to definitively suspect the bowab, but it's the theory that makes the most sense. We know he saw the stroller there and he got a little weird when we asked him to help us look for it. I don't know. It's impossible to be sure.

What makes me sad above and beyond having a personal possession stolen is the fact that I didn't even get to say goodbye to it. You know how I am about saying goodbye to things I have enjoyed owning. We bought this stroller before we went to Middlebury for the summer and it got Miriam and me all around town and beyond since we didn't have a car. In Provo, it gave us so many lovely walks south of campus. And now it's gone and the person using it doesn't even know that it has a rain shield that goes with it, which they did not steal, that is so great to use in a sudden storm. Or that sometimes you have to tape the wheel brakes up so they don't rattle. Or that the pads to the shoulder harness are in the storage pocket under the sunshade. Sigh.

Anyway, after I got all smug about only having to buy three items this summer, we had to go out and buy ourselves a new umbrella stroller. It's a neon green beauty and plenty tough for busting through the choppy, sidewalk-less roads around here.

And we haul it up and down five flights of stairs every time we use it.


Susanne said...

As if an American woman with blonde daughters needs a bright green stroller to draw even more attention to herself...hehehehe. :) It's cheery at least!

That stinks about your stroller getting stolen though! I wonder what that guy did with it? Maybe he took it home for his wife. I guess after 8 kids they needed a new one or something. Maybe it will mysteriously show up one day or you'll see someone around town using it.

I hope you are enjoying your time there although it's so hot.

Katie said...

That is one sturdy looking umbrella stroller. I'm impressed that the little cross section part in the front collapses.

Also, sad day about your other stroller being stolen.

Liz Johnson said...

The act of theft feels surprisingly violating, eh? It just feels like somebody intruded on my life and took a piece of it, even if it was just a possession. Hmmph. I'm sorry. Hopefully, like Susanne said, the person who took it REALLY needed it for whatever reason. It would've been nice if they had just asked, though.

Carrie G said...

I always use that "what are the odds of the person who sees this being the kind of person who would steal it" logic. I've also had the "who would steal a stroller?" argument with myself, and then I noticed that all the homeless people in our neighborhood push their stuff around in baby strollers. So I guess that's who.

Somebody just stole the hammock off of our porch. If I see I homeless guy dragging his stuff around in a hammock I going to be REAL suspicious!

Julie said...

I like the new stroller! We have an international umbrella stroller story too.

We bought ours for a trip to Hong Kong, and a worker at the HK airport slammed it against a wall and broke the wheel off. After spending hours at the airport (me waiting with our luggage and Derek while Glenn went from office to office with airport offials) they finally decided to pay us for the stroller. We wearily carried our luggage, the broken stroller, and Derek to our hotel. Glenn was able to fix the wheel, so we got our stroller somewhat for free!

Even though you didn't get to say goodbye to the other stroller, you'll always have memories about this new one now!

Jennifer said...

Do you think the bowab just threw it away? Maybe he saw it under the stairs, thought it had been abandoned and got rid of it? That would explain why he acted funny when you asked about it. However, I would think he'd let something sit for more than 24 hours before determining that was actually abandoned and therefore deserved to be discarded. Very frustrating, but your new stroller is very fun and bright!

robin said...

good stuff bridget. just catching up...

definitely laughed aloud at the note jeremy left for your guest.


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