Violence on the buses (Rousse)

ECM and I were travelling south along the east coast train line. I was heading to a conference in Kent, and she was accompanying me part of the way. It was only when ECM left the train that I realised that I had forgotten to bring the suitcase that I had packed with a change of clothes, my soap bag, and work for the journey and my overnight stay.

This was a mere inconvenience compared with what happened next. I was pick-pocketed on a bus crossing London. The thief took my purse and exchanged my iPhone for an inferior clone.

I appealed to my fellow passengers to help me. Only one stepped forward: a middle-aged woman who offered her phone so that I could ring (a) my bank to cancel my cards, and (b) my parents.

This woman would live to regret her kindness when she and I were later kidnapped by a member of the pickpocket gang, dumped in a dark prison cell, and warned to expect a beating.

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