Monday, June 13, 2011

Letter to a thief - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Photo by walkinginspace pt2 (CC)
Dear thief,
Unknown thief. I mean the profession of course, not the insult. Even though finding out that you've been robbed of 60 euros could lead you to indulge on the orgasmic pleasure that only insults can instill - insults directed to a target as yet unknown, and therefore easy to hit without complications of conscience - thinking more carefully about it you will see that it's not worth it. 
I have already been vaccinated against robbery-induced-anger or shock. Many things were stolen from me in the past: money in different currencies, traveler's cheques, credit card data, cameras, a car (not mine), bicycles, mobile phones. You might say that I am naive, careless or vulnerable. Maybe you're right, but I say that I am just exposed to risk. That's the way I live my life, some sort of intuitive commandment: don't give up a curiosity, an emotion, an experience, a pleasure just because something might happen. And if you do that too often, or almost all the time, sometimes something will actually happen.
I am not rich, I cannot afford to lose such a sum every other day and just have a laugh about it. But I'm not poor either and I'll get over it, actually I already have. I will think of something worth that amount that I'll have to make without, but it'll just be a pretense, as I don't live a luxurious life and there isn't really anything that I need to give up.
But you, oh yes, you, that was such a thoughtless thing to do. Very skillful indeed, as you managed to stick two fingers into my pocket, get hold of all the 10 and 50 ringgit bills that were there and leave the smaller ones behind - as if you wanted to show off your talent and mock me at the same time - all that without me feeling a thing. Alright, the crowd that was pushing against me in that pub made it easier, but still it was a good sleight of hands. How thoughtless though, as I said, for the bad karma that you called upon yourself will chase you until it makes you pay the bill. And as you stole 60 euros that might be any 60 things that could be taken off or assigned to you: days of your life - or maybe months ? - disappointments, or sad moments, love pains...who knows, karma is inevitable, its outcome guaranteed, but its ways are unpredictable.
What did you say? You're neither Buddhist nor Hindu and karma affairs are none of your business? Oh but it simply doesn't work like that: you might not be interested in karma but karma is definitely interested in you. Look at me for example, I'm not a believer of those religions either but even in a place like this, where normally hardly anybody pays attention to me, this beautiful, tall girl is coming here to console me, and she smiles at me, and waits for me to say something, which, of course, I don't say, because I often behave like this: I miss chances, convinced that others will come along even though there is no evidence to support this shaky conviction, other than the fact that there have always been another chance, so far, at least, there have always been another one.
And in fact look at that other girl, yeah, she's not as tall as the previous one - that a silly jealous friend after noticing her movements is dragging away from here -  but she's pretty, cute and petite. She's talking with that handsome Dutch guy that I met earlier but when she sees me she startles, she's saying something, I read her lips and she's saying I know you, but I've never seen her before and I step back and hide behind a column because besides being prone to missing lucky chances sometimes I am also overcome by this kind of childish behavior, but she moves and she's still staring at me and while I read again on her lips that same statement that is nailing me on the spot - out of curiosity or shyness or both - she's already walking towards me. She's in front of me now and she says that I am Fabio, and actually that's my name, not a common one in Kuala Lumpur, by the way. Who is she, what place, person or event can I associate her to, I quickly scan a messy list in my mind but I can't find anything, I don't know many people in this city and I remember the faces of the ones I know. I'm from Thailand, she's saying now, and that makes more sense because I know more people there than here but still she's not one of them. She says that I'm Italian, another thing that she shouldn't be saying to me but I to her as it's the first time we meet, of this I'm sure, and she's naming places where she saw me before and I actually used to go there as well. Finally she has to go, she leaves me dumbfounded. She spots me again outside of the joint and comes to say goodbye and see you again in Bangkok. I should have said something witty but she's already gone. Luckily she didn't greet me with that expression that some Thai girls like to say to make you laugh even though it has never even snatched a smile from my lips, see you when you see me, really a powerless joke.
Well, are you finally convinced now, young thief? You don't believe in karma? But he believes in you, and in what you've done. You'd better start thinking of things that can occur 60 times, or maybe 250, as that's the actual sum in local currency that you so skillfully picked from my pocket. You can run, you can hide, you can ignore it or make fun of it, but sooner or later karma always finds you.

Good luck and best regards,
Your victim aka occasional money box.

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