After eleven years living, dancing, teaching tango, and writing in Buenos Aires, I came home to L.A. in 2014, where I'm reconstructing my life.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Stranger in a Strange Land

Just to keep you all informed about what's going on with tangocherie:

Today, in broad daylight two blocks from my apartment in quiet, blue collar Boedo, I was walking to church on Estados Unidos, and a kid--a kid of 12 or 13--ran up behind me and grabbed my purse. I wasn't letting go, and he kicked me in the stomach to the ground and we struggled some more until the cheap plastic strap broke and he ran off down the street.

I was yelling and screaming, but only too late did neighbors come out of their houses.

Thank God I'm not more hurt, and my passport wasn't in the bag. But my camera that I had waited five years for, with undownloaded videos of Ruben's performance last Friday, was.

I was lucky, don't we always tell ourselves, that I wasn't badly hurt, that more wasn't lost. But I feel violated and so very frustrated and angry. And so helpless, and even more a stranger in a strange land.


Beatrice M said...

I am so very sorry to hear this. That is horrible! I completely understand about how you feel - my camera was stolen in September in San Francisco and J's laptop was stolen in January in San Telmo. I'm glad you weren't hurt more and it's just property, but damn it's a violating experience. I went through many stages of grief and at one point I wanted to go all mafioso on the junkie that broke into our car. Of course I didn't, but the feelings were extremely strong.

Anonymous said...

Oh Cherie,
I'm so very sorry to hear this. It is incredibly frustrating and enraging to be so violated. It's time for some serious chocolate!

Anonymous said...

Oh Cherie,

I can't believe it...i'm so sorry...what a horrible experience :( Fucking kid...what an asshole!! I'm just glad that you weren't shot or severely hurt....i'm sure the emotional part, feels like it though. At least it was just your camera, some $, and other purse stuff and not your life.
It almost makes you not want to go out at all!

Please, as much as you can, try and take it easy after you have cried, screamed, or whatever you need to do to get those feelings out.

I don't know what to say to help ease your state....but, know I love you and am thinking of you and sending you good, safe vibes.
I can't believe Ruben had his own crisis the night before...where did he lose his papers?
This all sucks!
My LOVE to both of you...i'm glad you are there for each other.


Anonymous said...

Oh Cherie,

I am so sorry what happened to you. And I am even sorrier that the little ruffian got away with a brand new camera with precious video on it already. Violated is exactly the right word. I was on the subway in Boston and saw some rough young girls eyeing me. I realized they were going to try to grab my purse when they exited the car so I was braced. One girl slapped my head, knocking my glasses off, cutting my face. The next one grabbed. They all raced, but without my purse. But only because I suspected it coming. Indeed I felt violated. Good for you for fighting and screaming! That sounds like something you would do.

What a terrible thing to happen to you. Please feel warm thoughts and a hug surrounding you from me in cold snowy New Hampshire.


Elizabeth said...

Cherie, This is awful news. We are sending as many good vibes as possible today. Thankful that you were not hurt seriously,or worse.
Elizabeth and Alan

Caroline said...

Oh no!!! I am so sorry that happened to you. I've been subjected to gypsy children attempting to pickpocket me but never any violence. I was in shock while reading your post.
Oh, wish I were there for you in person.

Tina said...

:-( I'm really sorry that this happened to you in your own neighborhood, where you're supposed to feel comfortable and safe. Well, it's gonna bite that stupid kid in the ass when he grows up. :-(

But still. I hope you're ok. That's just not a good experience to have. I'm glad you weren't hurt.

Connie B. said...

Like all the other comments, I'm so sorry that happened to you. These things can happen anywhere but I believe it is more shocking when it happens on a beautiful day during broad daylight because we really aren't expecting it. My daughter and her friend were robbed with a gun to their heads in broad daylight by a group of young minorities in a very good Dallas neighborhood and it made her somewhat prejudiced for a while. You're not the stranger in a strange land, but those people who prey on others are the strangers in the land of good people wherever they may be. Sorry you were so violated because I know it will take a while to get over. Like Johanna said, it's time for some serious chocolate and tango.

tangobaby said...


Like everyone here, I was so sad to read about this. I hope that this memory will fade quickly and nothing like this will ever happen to you again! Please take care and know that people all over the world are sending you good wishes.

sallycat said...

Dear Cherie,

and I am sending you my smiles and warm hugs today from across the city. I am so sorry that this happened to you. I am thinking of you and wishing you good things today.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the purse snatch and that you lost your camera :( Damn damn damn!

That little bastard!

But like you said, at least you're not hurt and it's just money. The Vietnamese believe that when someone steals your money they get your bad luck. Who knows what kind of bad luck that silly boy snatched off you?

Take care, lots of love xoxo Thao

Anonymous said...

What a nasty experience you had with the little thug. I imagine you have tried to excuse it based on poverty or homelessness or whatever. I can almost guarantee you his parents are drug addicts and they have put the kids to a way of crime to support the family. I see it even in Recoleta in the
park.........tiny tots begging at stoplights on Libertador or other dangerous streets.

And please, don't ever carry your passport on you! I have found that anyone is willing to accept a Xerox copy of my passport for all business transactions - all over the world - even money-changing. They mostly just want an ID number. Of course this could also happen in the US but we are so often in locked cars and not walking that it seems to happen less frequently.


Inspirosity said...

Geez... that's horrible. I'm glad you weren't hurt.

I like Johanna's chocolate advice. But if I see that kid, I'll slam him for you. Keep your spirits up.