Went into town on the daladala on Sat lunchtime -my first time to go alone – you really have to have your wits about you – or maybe just be lucky. So I get off the daladala at Posta – the main post office and daladala stop in the city. They warn you about markets and busy transport hubs in the rough guide. Anyway I’m just getting my bearings in the crowd of people getting on and off the bus, and this guy grabs my upper arm and starts shaking me – kind of rhythmically – not hurting – just shaking. I thought maybe he was a nutter then I realised he was distracting me / unbalancing me while his mate had a go for my wallet – in the cargo leg pocket of my shorts. I’m starting to move and turn and the pocket is buttoned but you cant see the button from the outside. So I see the second guy – he spins and darts away, meanwhile I’m grabbing / checking this other guy who I thought he had passed it to but who was probably just a kid – a passer by. And then i move away, kinda shocked, and with this scary gut feeling I’ve just lost some serious shit (cash / cards) but as I feverishly pat myself down I realise in disbelief that it’s still all there – they didnt get anything – I’d escaped. So – keep your wits about you, your pockets buttoned, and give yourself space.
Trouble is – it’s started a process of hardening me up. I stopped at the corner and bought a mobile phone top up (I didnt want to be without some form of backup) when a guy approached me waving a piece of paper. I put my hands up to face him and said forcefully “I dont know what you’re after – but I dont want any!” But then maybe that’s a good thing?
Anyway later on I met some really nice people on the beach (I decided to give up on the city sightseeing tour and escaped to the safety of a ‘private’ beach restaurant / resort place – Kepapao) – so that kind of evened things up.