Trooper Travels

Double or Nothing

November 12, 2019

Five men robbed me at knifepoint, but I got my money back. Now what?

Asian, American, and European coins and bank notes.
Six countries in sixty days — March 15 to May 13, 2019

When I was about seven-or-so-year old, I lost ten pesos. It’s only about 0.20 US dollars in today’s exchange rate, but way back 30 plus years ago, it cost a lot. A lot to cause a seven-or-so-year boy crying. It only went worse when an aunt gave me ten pesos to replace what I had just lost for then I would have 20 pesos had I not lost ten.

Way back in college, a pick-pocket took a scientific calculator I had just bought. That same week, my mother gave me the same amount of money for me to buy a replacement one. I lamented in the thought that for the price of two standard scientific calculators, I could have bought a more advanced one.

A popular 90’s video game is about to have a remake in the first quarter of 2020 and my eyes are all set to buy the console the game will be exclusively released to. When I announced the plan to my local gaming Whatsapp group, my friends alerted me that the console is on sale for only about 200 USD.

Unfortunately, as if the stars refused to align for me and the console, five men robbed me at knifepoint. They asked for my money, to which I calmly obliged. No one’s life isn’t worth a few bucks, so I refused to fight. The perps took all the money in my purse and hurriedly left.

Much to robbers’ naivety, I got to memorize their faces and their car’s plate while they were aggressively taking my money. And as soon as they left, I sent the plate number to the Whatsapp group just so I won’t forget the details while I head to the nearest police station to report the incident.

When I announced to the group what just happened, they all asked whether the robbers got my game console money. I told them they managed to get about half of it.

In a matter or three hours after the robbing incident, a friend from the Whatsapp group drove several kilometers away to meet me. Apparently, he met with a few more friends from the group earlier and they pitched in to replace the money I just lost from the robbery. I refused the offer but my friend guilted me to accept it citing he traveled for hours and I am no longer in the position to decline.

So I took it.

And like second nature to me, I thought I could have finally bought the console had the robbers not took my money.

Several hours after my friend left, the police called to announce that they caught the robbers. With the plate number I reported, they were able to trace the car’s owner along with the perps. The police invited me to the station to confirm the culprits.

Finally, the police handed me my money back. And with the amount my friends gave, I can finally buy the console I have had my eyes locked on to.

Strangely, having retained both the lost and the replacement money, a sudden void loomed inside me. And like second nature to me, I agonized at the thought I could have bought the console and several more games had I told the police I lost 200 instead of 100.

I’m helpless.

Based on a true story. Although I purposely redacted two of my companions from the robbery scene for the story to appear more epic. Ktnxbye!

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