Robbed at Machete Point
Two days ago I wrote about how we are experiencing a phenomenon that makes us feel like kids again. That the experiences new cultures bring make time go by so slowly and allows my busy mind to slow down and enjoy just being with my new husband. I guess the powers of the universe thought that was a hoot because Ryan and I had a new experience that, although seemed to pass by at a never-ending pace, made me feel more scared and more isolated from Ryan than I have ever felt.
Ryan and I were attacked and robbed at machete point last night. Walking home after dinner from the next town over (about a 15 minute walk), two teenagers were seemingly waiting for us in the most deserted section of highway – one on bike and the other on foot armed with a machete – and attacked us before we realized we were in danger. It was the scariest moment of my life – so much so I can’t stop the tears as I type this.
The machete wielding teen went for Ryan while the unarmed one tried to wrestle away my camera that was strapped across my chest. I’m vaguely proud to say that I put up a fight and we had a good wrestle on top of his bicycle until the attacker with the machete started swinging at Ryan. He yelled for me to let the camera go, and as much as it went against everything I believed in, I let go. I couldn’t believe my adored and extremely expensive camera was gone and in the hands of nasty thieves who wouldn’t appreciate it the way that I did. They continued to try to rob us of our money but luckily a car drove by and they became frightened and ran off. My hotheaded side took me running down the highway after them shouting until Ryan called me off.
The worst part of the incident, other than someone swinging a machete at our heads, was that a security guard (WITH A SHOTGUN) for a fancy private club, Club El Salvadorian, was just ten yards away and turned his back while we were being attacked and yelling for him to help us. Not only did he just turn his back, he seemed to be in cahoots with the culprits judging how he turned a blind eye and refused to help us afterwards. After they left, we asked him for help to call the police and he said it wasn’t his problem and that he couldn’t help us. We were left on the side of the darkening highway scared to death. Of course, Ryan played it cool and I bust into hysteria, balling and nearly hyperventilating. A helluva time to have just gotten off anxiety medicine for panic attacks, eh? Luckily, we eventually flagged down a family who drove us to the nearest town where a wonderfully nice Belgium restaurant owner helped us call the police and translate more clearly what had happened. I continued to weep and try to breathe in front of the nice Salvadorian family, a Switz couple, the police, and an entire restaurant of travelers.
Eventually a police truck arrived to take us to an even bigger town, La Libertad, to file a police report which hopefully our travelers insurance, World Nomads, will graciously help us out with recovering the loss. They refused our surfboard claim due to a clause that states they only cover theft of baggage being transported in a vehicle which also transports passengers. Pretty sly insurance, pretty sly. If they refuse to cover this loss, a loss due to being held at machete point, I think I’m going to flip my shit (pardon my French?).
If you are keeping track, this was the second incident of theft we have encountered on our travels. In the very beginning UPS conveniently misplaced a package in Miami containing our four surfboards valued at $3,000 and now my Canon 7D valued at $2000 that was ripped from my hands. I can hardly stomach the loss and even more, the injustice. I am so angry, so sad, so deflated.