Thursday, November 09, 2006

Last night two men – one with a huge knife, one with a gun – robbed us in our house. The first thing I knew about it was when the man with the knife, with Eran pushing against him, fell into the bathroom when I was in the shower. Eran managed to persuade him to let him close the bathroom door. He kept Eran on the floor outside the bathroom. Fortunately I had my clothes with me in the bathroom, so I grabbed them. I didn’t understand yet what was happening. I opened the door. The man with the knife stood in the opposite doorway a few feet away with Eran sitting against the wall beside the bathroom with his hands in the air. Only at that moment did panic set in, because I’ve always felt safe with Eran – that things are usually ok when he’s around – but when I saw him on the floor I realised there are things even he can’t protect us from. He told me to stay in the bathroom and close the door.

Outside Hal’s car drew up – he’d been at the hotel. I heard him come in and some commotion. I heard him ask Eran what was happening and I knew from his voice that he also hadn’t processed what was going on. Eran said, ‘we are being robbed’. Those words - I can’t describe it – they were chilling. I knew anyway by then that that’s what was happening, but just hearing them said was terrifying.

Hal was made to sit next to Eran with his hands up. I couldn’t understand what they were saying, or what they were demanding, except that one of them was extremely agitated. They wanted money, was the only thing I could determine. Eran told me afterwards that the agitated guy – the one with the knife – was repeating, ‘lets kill them, lets kill them’ – and I can only say that I’m so glad I hadn’t understood him because any sense of control I was feeling (which was very little anyway) would have deteriorated into a panic attack at that point. There is some sense of detachment at least, when words in a language you’re not fluent in drift over your head and don’t make any connection with your own.

I don’t remember how long we stayed like this, with me shut in the bathroom and Eran and Hal outside. They mainly wanted the car apparently, and the guy with the gun took Hal’s keys and went to start the car, while the other one guarded us. That time crawled – the guy outside had trouble starting the car. When he did they both came back in and started to move us around. At the time I didn’t understand why, but apparently they were trying to find a room to lock us into before making their getaway. But none of our internal doors even close properly, let alone lock – including the bathroom door! So they first ushered Eran and Hal into the bathroom with me, and then they moved Hal and Eran out again and into our bedroom. For a second I was sure they were going to separate me from Eran and Hal, but by that time I was beyond any self awareness of feeling. I can’t even remember what I felt. In the end they moved me into our bedroom too. We stood together with our hands up. That’s when they saw my computer – such a stupid waste – what can they do with a MacBook for god’s sake?? But it doesn’t matter. We lived and that’s what matters.

They discovered that they couldn’t lock that door either so they ushered us all into Hal’s bedroom. After making Eran lock all the windows they had us all sit on the floor with our hands up. It was then only that I saw the gun the other guy was holding. I've never seen a gun like that - Eran told me the type, but it's nothing I've ever heard of - some kind of huge handgun - apparently they're made in Israel - oh the irony! It was an extra shock - because I'd had a moment to process the knife, and that a knife can only attack one person at a time, but the gun made it a different situation again, and it's the first time in my life - and I hope the last - that I've ever had a gun pointed directly at me. But then, finally, they left us. It felt like ages, but I guess it was over in minutes. In the end, all they got was the car, our two mobile phones, Hal’s digital camera (without any of the cables!) and my Applemac.

10 minutes later and the car was discovered by the police crashed into a ditch. They must have been driving too fast and lost control. The police say there might have been a third accomplice. Some of the things they took were found in the car, but not the phones and the computer. Somehow they must have dragged each other out – judging by the extent of the windscreen damage and the fact that the car flipped over, at least one of them had a very serious head-injury. Somewhere they’re still around, and it’s not such a big place. I still have a chance to get my laptop back – not that it matters, but it’s the principle more than anything: they took my stuff, they came in and invaded our space and took something that’s not even any use to them – they won’t have the first idea how to operate it. But whatever, who cares, they could have killed us, they wanted to kill us, and they didn’t, Eran is here and Hal is here, and Pandora is here, and I’m here to write this blog!


karina said...

jenny, i'm so so so sorry this has happened to you , my darling.... i wish there was something i could say to you to mak eit all better, and we both know there isn't....
i am just seriously relieved neither you,eran or hal were hurt and you're ok...
i'm thinking of you, honey
i love oyu lots and lots

Claire said...

Hi Jen

Just echoing Karina's comment - I'm so so relieved that you're 'Ok' in the broadest possible sense of the word - I'm also so sorry that this has happened to you and we are both sending you and Eran lots of love and thoughts.

Take care sweetheart

Claire and Ben xx

chris said...

For what it's worth, Angola was among the governments which voted two weeks ago in favour of writing a UN treaty to regulate the international trade in small and light arms (link).

Glad you're safe,


thury said...

I am so grateful to hear that you are all OK. "OK"...what an understatement, alive I should have said.
Lots and lots of love.
Thury x