Friday, 30 November 2007
Today was set to be another day off work in which I just do nothing, and then in the evening wish that I had. Well I decided to buck that trend today, so at about half three I went out on my bike with my new expensive camera to see if there was anything in the local area worth taking pictures off.
I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired so I went off in a random direction to places I’d never been before.
I eventually ended up at the top of a hill with a fantastic view of the city, unfortunately it was in a rather dodgy estate. Nevertheless I found an interesting alleyway up there and got my camera out. I started taking a few pictures of things around, not really taking any good ones, but learning about the options on my camera all the time. Anyway, without me hearing, someone came up behind me on his bike, gave me an odd look, and then cycled on past. I was a little worried at my situation. Here I was, off my bike, with an expensive camera, in an alleyway with nobody around what-so-ever, and this kid that just cycled past was probably about 17, had his hooded top up over his head, and looked generally unfriendly. I felt quite relieved that he passed without trouble, but then saw that him cycling down this alley actually made quite a good picture, so I looked at it through my viewfinder. I realised that it was really too dark to take it, but at that point, he’d looked back to see me pointing the camera at him. I immediately tried to look interested in something else, but he’d clocked me, and started cycling back towards me.
At this moment I was feeling very scared. He could do anything right now. He could beat me up, take my camera, stab me, anything, so I put my camera safely away again, and smiled at him as him came up to me. Not in a mean way, or anything, just acting friendly, as if nothing was wrong. He then said “Did you take a picture of me?”. I said I didn’t, which was true. He didn’t buy it so asked again, more angrily, and then asked why I just happened to be down this alley taking photos as he came past. To that I just said that I was here first, you came by me. I realised that arguing with him was not the way to go. He was taller than me and he seemed like a guy that wouldn’t step out of a fight. So I just said, “I haven’t taken a photo, I promise, Sorry,”. For some reason (possibly because he was late for wherever he was heading) he let it go. He just cycled off again. I feel ashamed with myself that I had to beg him and apologise for nothing in particular, but I prefer that to being stabbed.
As soon as he started off, I quickly got my stuff together and cycled in the opposite direction without looking back. During that whole event I couldn’t help but remember the time I was mugged when I was at uni, and that’s probably why I was quite paranoid about what might happen with this guy.
The time I was mugged before two guys came up behind me and my friend and threw me to the floor whilst my friend was chased. It was then that I was threatened with a knife and told to hand over my wallet. For some reason at that time, whether it be the alcohol I had earlier in the night or not, I fought back, and I actually managed to free myself from his grasp. During this time I’d like to add that we were actually just outside our dorms, and also a lot of the other uni students, and they were all just walking past us as if nothing was wrong. I couldn’t believe that at the time.
Anyway, I freed myself and ran over towards my friend who had been taken to the ground too. I, just out of instinct, threw a punch at the other guy. I missed, there was a bit of a struggle again and in the end the muggers had to literally rip my wallet from my pocket. They ran off and I followed them for a bit, but I realised it was fruitless. They were away, and even if I did catch up with them, then what?
So that event could well have happened again today if the hoody kid that past me had been with others. I’m sure it was only because he was on his own that he did nothing. I guess though, without that kind of evidence I have nothing to suggest that he was nothing more than a passer-by that didn’t want his photo taken.
With that I’ll go to bed and try and rest easy.