Someone broke into our house and stole from us while we were on vacation in Greece. I had hoped that, when we returned home, I’d write a bit about our trip; but after the theft all I could think about is how broken my world felt.
I was upset about losing the things that were stolen. God has blessed us, and we’ll be alright, but I hate spending money. I didn’t like spending money to buy things in the first place, and it seems doubly wasteful to replace luxury items. Was it wrong to purchase these things in the first place? It certainly seems like it was a waste when they’re gone.
Before we left, a few emails were being circulated about break-ins on the KAUST campus. I usually think that such stories are overblown. People overreact, and panic, and I don’t want to be like that.
I felt like there was so little I could do to prevent this in the future. We’re on a closed campus, with photo ID’s checked at the gate. That gave me this implicit sense of security within these walls; but now I’m questioning everyting. One of the first things that we did was have key control replace the locks on our doors; but KAUST manages the locks: if someone in key control is stealing things, who can stop them? What if someone in the transportation department is targeting people that they know have gone to the airport?
I wrote all this pretty soon after it happened, when I was trying to make sense of my disconcertion about everything. A few days layer, though, we got a call from KAUST security telling us that they thought they had recovered some of our property. A group of four or five guys from the housekeeping service were using their positions to stake out houses that had things worth taking.
So there you have it: I got some closure. We didn’t get everything back (Andi’s necklace and my netbook, most disappointingly) but my relative peace with that makes me feel a little bit better about the materialism that I feared in myself. I think what I needed was an end to the story. That’s a different problem, but it at least disappoints me less than it would for me to find out that my material possessions possess me as much as they seemed to for a bit.
Here’s a list of what we’ve noticed missing so far:
Macbook Air ($1400) (returned)
MC906LL/ASerial number: [redacted]
HP Mini 1000 netbook (approx. $300)
Fourth-generation, 8GB iPod Nano, green ($150) (returned)
Fifth-generation, 8GB iPod Nano, blue ($150)
MC037LL/ASerial number: [redacted]
Nokia mobile phone for AT&T GoPhone service (approx. $40)
Nokia mobile phone and Mobily sim card (approx. $40)
I got this for Andi last Christmas in Al Balad, but I don’t remember how much I paid for it at all.
yurbud Ironman earbuds ($50)
Nike+ iPod dongle ($30)
Foam laptop zipper sleeve (approx. $20)
This was attached to an extended power lead (adapter-specific) that was also taken.
Olympus digital camera, waterproof (approx. $170) (returned)
It wasn’t this precise model, but it was one of these Olympus waterproof cameras.
Power adapter for a Western Digital MyBook external hard drive (partial, unknown)
I think this might have been taken by mistake for one of the phones that was taken.
Pocket watch (approx. $100)
Andi got this for me when she was in Turkey.