I had to pee. So, I walked ahead of Ree’L and Sylis back into our apartment after playing some baseball outside. I headed into the bathroom and untied my scrub pants, only to find a burglar trying to get out through our bathroom window (which is on the 2nd floor). There’s not enough room on this page for me to include all the details of the events that followed, but here are the highlights:
- With my scrubs now around my ankles (anyone who has ever worn scrubs knows that you must keep a tight grip on them or gravity will soon take over), I pulled the burglar back in the window, drug him through the apartment, sat him at our dinner table and made him wait for me to pull up and retie my pants.
- Escorting him outside I soon realized that the typical response from the community for thieves was beating – pastors, teachers, nannies and random people materialized out of nowhere to provide their disapproving blows to this man…literally and to the face. (We later found out if he had stolen things from the market, he would have been either set of fire or stoned; neither of which we wanted for him.)
- Realizing the police were not going to come to us, another ex-pat and I drove the burglar to the police station. My Western thinking assumed that I would just hand the man over to the police, tell my story, show them what he had stolen, and be on my way soon thereafter. I was on my way relatively soon, but far from alone - I was accompanied by the burglar, four police officers (one of which smelled like he had bathed in PBR), two nurses, two school teachers, two hospital guards and numerous other random people whom were picked up Dumb and Dumber style on the way home. We all stood in my living room replaying the afternoon’s happenings with the burglar.
- Meanwhile, there was a plumber in our bathroom trying to fix the pipe the burglar had broken when he tried to escape. Thus, in the midst of all this madness, our apartment had also flooded.
After four long hours and many, many other twists and turns, everyone departed our apartment. The police took the burglar with them, and the plumber left us with an oversized rubber band tied around our pipe to reduce the leak. Ree’L and I then managed to clean up the mess and have a few chuckles as we recounted the day. And, yes, I finally got to pee.