“Ah!” The refreshing air of Argentina hit me as I left the hotel lobby and walked onto the jam-packed main road. It was the middle of my school summer holidays and I had absconded to Argentina to escape the war. I had decided to take a stroll through the marketplace as I had gotten bored of being cooped up in the hotel room. My room wasn’t all that large; it only included a bed and a small table with a chair. At the next intersection, I turned left and walked the 2 kilometres to a market called El Paso Marketplace.

“Wow!” All the stalls crowded together in the market amazed me. One was bargaining carpets, another was trading sandals, and one more was peddling souvenirs. As I progressed through them, a stall with the words, ‘Toys and Games,’ inscribed across its painted sign caught my eye. As I was staring transfixed at a perplexing 100-sided dice, I felt someone lunge into my pocket. Alarmed, I felt it and to my hopelessness, discerned that my wallet had been seized. I swivelled around “Hey you, STOP!” I yelled. I had identified the burglar to be a boy in his teens, who had slick brown hair and dazzling dark sunglasses. “Somebody stop him!” I shrieked, panicked, as he took off. The wallet was my only source of identity; it held all my earnings, my insurances and my personal photos.

I pursued him. We took off from the main street and entered into a smaller, sombre, acrid alleyway. Suddenly, my escaper tumbled, landing on the hard cobblestone floor. “Ow…” he howled. Subsequently, a nearby patrolling police officer entered the street and looked up at us. “What in the blazes is going on?” he interrogated demandingly, trying to rationalise the situation. “This man has stolen my wallet,” I answered, getting straight-to-the-point. The police officer then grabbed my brown, polished leather wallet from his pocket and opened it. After a quick scrutinisation, he found my R.A.C.V. card bearing my photo on it. Satisfied that our faces matched, he returned my wallet to me and said, “Here you go. As for you…” he turned to the thief, who was looking at me with a scowl of absolute dislike upon his face, “You’re coming with me, you cantankerous youth.” I then left.

‘What an eventful day,’ I mused to myself as I sat down in the hotel room. I then decided that hot chocolate would brighten me up after my appalling encounter with the pickpocket. I vowed there and then to not ever step foot into another Argentinian marketplace; it was just too precarious.


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