So I am breaking free of my regular posting format to share one particular story. I feel it deserves it’s own attention, free of the bells and whistles I attach to my normal posts that are entirely meant to “trick” you into reading this nonsense. Now, with an opening statement like that….. Let’s do this thing! * insert several air karate kicks. *
It was an average Tuesday morning. We had all headed across the Mekong river to try to meet people in the rural territory. The roads are very dusty and cracked over there, scattered with locals delivering produce, moving cattle or kids riding bikes that are, 4 out of 5 times, way to big for them in the most unsafe possible way!
There was six of us all together and we had broken off into pairs. Marcie and Abby were together when they were approached by a guy. He immediately wanted a tract so Abby gave him one. She had a folder in her hands that he persistently kept tapping. It was filled with more Khmer literature along with her personal copies in English. As soon as she peeled the folder open, the guy reached in and grabbed two brochures and started to run. Now normally if someone took two brochures in a quick “thief-like”
manner it would be of no real consequence and make for a funny little story that may or may not be mentioned in this blog. But these brochures were not just any brochures. They were Abby’s personal English copies that contained hours and hours of study, translation, and notes. If you are in a foreign language group you know how precious these items are! As you will soon find out, she apparently wasn’t ready to let them go so easily.
Well you have already guessed it, the great chase was thus born! Abby and Marcie both started running after this guy. Quickly Abby realized extra baggage had to be dropped in order to catch him. They stopped running, Abby grabbed two Khmer brochures to trade, left her bag with Marcie and started running again. She ran like the wind she did, even though she was dealing with unbearable heat, bumpy roads and wearing crocs. ( yes crocs….hey it’s flash flood poopy streets Cambodia we’re talking here). Being this was Abby’s first real heroic crime scene chase down the adrenal was pumping. She later described to me that she felt much like Lara Croft chasing down the bad guy! It was very compelling!! Marcie had, let’s just say, an ever so slightly different description. Barely able to hold back the laughter, Marcie enjoys calling what she saw the absolute slowest chase she has ever seen! She only wishes she had filmed it. It was watching two people run a bit, then walk a bit, then run a bit….you get the pattern. The guy would look back to see if Abby was running or walking and then he would follow suit! And I will be honest, all this Lara Croft talk wasn’t fooling me either. We were talking about Abby, the same girl that gets pulled outta the water by life guards thinking she is drowning, when in fact she is, again in her mind, swimming like a mermaid! Her running really isn’t much better. Anyways, when she in fact did get closer to the “thief”‘ he started swinging his metal lunch tin at her. That’s when she decided to bid farewell to her precious brochures!
You can imagine how this entire scenario must have looked to the other residents in the village. It was hardly unnoticeable! So after Abby finally gave up, two older woman gave her a seat to sit. She had tears in her eyes because something had flown into her eye while she was running, so fast (hehe) and clearly tired. They told Abby the guy was crazy, (whaaaaaaa!? Crazy!? SHOCK lol) and that they would retrieve the brochures. Unfortunately he locked himself in his house when they approached.
Shortly after the rest of us were updated with what had happened and decided we needed a little break. While we were sitting, a young man came and told us the crazy guy was his uncle and he would go get the brochures! After a very tense 15 minutes he returned to us, brochures in hand!!! Everyone that had gathered started cheering and clapping. Even though all of Abby’s sticky notes had been taken out, she was relieved to get her brochures back. We later found out that the same thing had happened to one of our other friends as well. It ended up being a different guy,……which is a relief there are more than one of these dudes out there, right!? Thank goodness! Abby asked our friend if she chased after her thief too, which of course she said no.
All in all it turned out to be quite the adventure filled morning. Not only did we learn we should be wearing runners/ tennis shoes across the river, but we learned something about our family. Just like the time I punched the homeless guy after he grabbed my butt, and now the time Abby chased down a thief, but didn’t catch him….we now know we are not he type to shrink back! “HERE I AM, SEND ME!”
PS. I realize now that my “format” as mentioned earlier, hasn’t actually changed much. You just don’t get the same amount of photos this round! But no fear, plenty to come and more stories too!! Remember to comment, love the feedback 🙂