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.
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.