Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Happy ending to petty theft

It has been very frustrating for me to tell my students this week that while at the Copacabana Beach olympic celebration last Friday I had my wallet and cell phone stolen. It only reinforces their near-hardened cynicism about crime in Brazil. (The subject has come up because my conversation topic for this week has been Rio and the Olympics.)

"But we still had a good time" I have insisted, and "We are not going to live our lives forever on the defensive." I have been coming to Rio for nearly 10 years. This is the first time I have had anything picked from my pocket. (knock wood)

Well, I can now return to my students and report that a young, Brazilian, good Samaritan called us yesturday and said he was working security at the event and some person handed him my wallet saying they had found it on the beach. He offered to deliver it to our house.

The hair on the back of our necks stood up a bit. Seems wierd the guy would offer to deliver it to me when he lives nearly an hour and a half away by bus. But he insisted that he understood the difficulty in getting personal documents replaced and that he wanted to do a good deed.

Zozó and several of our friends cautioned us to expect a visit from a thief with dangerous intensions. I insisted everyone calm down and see the glass half full.

Long story short: a very nice young man who indeed works in security stopped by this evening and handed my wallet to Luiz. Everything was intact (except the small amount of cash I had in it, of course). No drama.

Chalk one up for the goodness of honest Brazilians countering the stereotype of relentless thievery in the city.

No comments: