Intruders

Our past passion for Ponta do Ouro cost us a lot more than planned, since for three times we had “unexpected visitors” at home. I can still remember the trauma of arriving and facing the signs of breaking and entry: shattered glass under our feet, locks completely destroyed… It wasn’t only for the fact that some of our valuable possessions were taken away but knowing that someone had been inside the place where we lived without our consent. The felling of strange people touching the objects that we use daily is pretty revolting.

I don’t remember very well the first theft, only the immense shock. Imagine yourself in the best mood after super holidays being forced to realize that you were left with almost nothing!

What I remember was the second robbery, because of a detail: Paul was forced to wear the beach clothing he was wearing for a couple of days. They took his entire wardrobe. The third successful break into our home was the worst for me. For a start we had once again to buy essential things but what troubled me the most was the fact that the thieves took with them everything I had bought for the baby I was expecting.

Like so many characters of books and movies after suffering some kind of violence, I swore that nobody would enter again like this in my house. It was just a question of taking the right precautions. Despite all those measures, we had other minor problems and also a frightening number of robbery attempts.

A couple of years later, it was our neighbour’s turn to be “visited”. I saw her so tearful as I had been before. Yet, I couldn’t avoid finding the situation a little funny because, from all her belongings, she could only remember the chocolate cake she had baked and was now gone. “They even took the chocolate cake!” she wept time and time again.

The funniest theft incident in my street was destined to happen in my own house. At that time we had a young nervous lady cooking for us called Juliet. One morning she took a 8kg king mackerel fish from the fridge decided to cut it in fillets later during the day.

My sons were playing and cycling in front of the house with friends, and the gate was opened and unattended. Meanwhile, a beggar passing by saw the gate wide open, entered and knocked at the front door. As no one answered, he went to the backyard where he saw the king mackerel.

I was upstairs when I heard a great commotion outside. I hurried to see what the problem was, a little worried with the boys playing on the street with their bikes. When I arrived at the gate I confirmed first that they were well and only after I asked what was happening. “Someone stole our fish!” one of the boys explained to me almost laughing.

I couldn’t control myself when I looked down the street and saw the figure of a ragged man running fast with the big fish well secure in his arms. Behind him, brandishing a threatening kitchen knife, was our Juliet. I could hear her strong, furious voice clearly: “Give it back to me! Give it back to me!”

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