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It rained most of the day, like yesterday, and I stayed at Jenny’s. At 3pm, the rain turned to a drizzle and I was feeling nutty, locked up in the house for 2 days in front of the computer. I needed some fresh air. I decided to brave the drizzle and go for a short walk. Little did I know, I’d had more than a drizzle to brave.

A few blocks from Jenny’s house on Gibson road, I overtook a school girl. A few steps later, a young man approached me, he hold his right hand toward me keeping his left hand in the pocket of his red jacket. He looked at me and asked something. I was listening to my mp3 player and the music was a bit loud, I did not hear what he said, but I assumed he wanted money. I shook my head and continued on my way like I usually do with any beggars. He kept repeating the same thing more urgently this time. Politely I pulled out one of my earplug and told him no more firmly. He then grabbed my harm and repeated the words that I could finally hear: “Give me your phone!”

There and then, time slowed down; in my mind several thoughts chased each other. “I don’t have a phone”, ‘It’s not a phone, it’s my mp3 player”, “He really does not need to know that”, “Here you go. You knew that would happen one day, Fabienne, now what?”

I shook my head again refusing to give in, as I realized that his left hand, still in his pocket, could very well hide a weapon. But it would be too small to be a gun, a knife perhaps. If it is a knife, am I ready to take the risk? I was trying to release his hold on me, and to retreat backward. I almost got free, when he pulled his left hand out of his pocket. I shivered but he was trying to use his two hands to get a better grip on me. At the same time he forced his hand in my pocket to grab my mp3 player. I fought back then. He pulled harder, he felt like pure metal, but I used my nails and my weigh to push and free myself. Then I supposed I was scared, although I was running on pure adrenalin and did not feel much, just rapid series of thoughts and movements, I did not panicked. But on an impulse, I screamed “Au secours!”, then thought “How idiotic Fabienne, no one will understand if you scream in French!” So I gave it another try: “Help!” I yelled so loud, it scared me. And it scared my assailant too. He released his hold on my and stepped back. I did exactly the same.

Heart beating like a mad dog, hands suddenly sweaty, I slowly took another few steps backward, keeping my eyes locked with his. He was doing the same.

He looked around; saw a woman a block away from us, watching the whole scene. I was ready to scream again and fight back. Forgetting that a mere second ago, I was tempted to give him what he asked. It was irrelevant now; he would not get anything from me.

He said a few menaces, that he would get me back,… and that worried me more than the whole episode but I kept walking backward keeping eye contact and showing no fear. I did not feel any at the time, just anger; rage maybe, instinct of fighting back. I suppose it helped that he was rather lean and shorter than me. Even if I am not fit, I still weigh my part.

He left slowly, looking back often, checking that nobody was following him or calling the cops. Where were the security guards when you need them anyway? It is an area protected by a security agency, there are patrols running all day/night long. Where the fuck were they?

I joined the woman, she was scared and angry, and told me not to walk alone along this street at this time of day. It was 4pm on a Monday! For Christ sake, what am I suppose to do? Lock myself in?

Adrenalin was gone by then, the shock was settling in. I realized of course how lucky I have been. It could have been way worse. It was however bound to happen, I knew that. I live in South Africa, have been living there for 2years, and I have been living alone in big cities for 15years. I was lucky.

I was mugged in full daylight, in a residential area surrounded by big houses with tons of security measures, in a zone protected by professionals. There is nowhere safe! Jenny is going to be mad! Poor woman! She is going to feel so awful about that!

There is one very important thing I learnt today. I was not helpless! I have a survivor instinct and it kicked in! I am relieved.

I'm feeling really bad cause I haven't see that entry before today and yet I had you twice on the phone since (and I didn't know and you didn't tell...).
I'm really relieved nothing worse happened, I was already a little afraid for you before because you've already spoken about the insecurity there but now it seems more "real" : you know how is it : you know there's nowhere completely safe on earth but this kind of events always remind you of it! But I'm "happy" (kind of) because if you think you're not that helpless, it might help if you ever (and I really wish for it not be the case)get again in this kind of situation again (but let's really hope it won't happened).
Yes, I wrote the event there because I felt that I needed to talk about it, but I wish my family would not know about it. My parents worry so much already and that won't help. So far they don't know and I hope it stays that way.
Safety is getting worse and worse around here, it is quite alarming. A lot of people with yound children decide to leave South Africa to go to Australia for example because they don't want their kids to be risen in such circunstances. And I can't say I blame them. However Cape Town is such a great city. I really like it. Oh well we'll see.