After my backpack was stolen, we soon called the police with the slight hope of finding it back. It didn't take too long for the policeman to come in. They asked about what happened and asked us to fill in some forms with personal information. Afterwards, we were told that we can leave.
What? Time to leave. The policeman hadn't said anything yet. I asked one of them," Is there anything I can do to get my stuff back?" "Madam, I suggest you look up on craigslist and see if there is anyone trying to sell computers similar to yours? I think that person will try to sell your stuff on craigslist." said the policeman.
OMG, not to mention that there was a small chance the thief would sell my stuff online, even if there was true, hundreds of people were trading stuff on craigslist at multiple locations and how was it possible for me to find a potential thief? Obvious, this is a helpless suggestion, not of much value for me. It was apparent that the police won't even try to investigate this since there was no valid clue.
At that moment, I realized that, no matter in US or China, there were always something that policemen won't care to look into, even if it was important for an ordinary person.
However, I couldn't help feeling angry with the policeman. If you know that you are not gonna be of help, why do you waste my time making me filling my personal information? At that moment, I just hope that we hadn't called the police at all.
I shared this with my friend Lara during another Thanksgiving turkey dinner. Her mother-in-law Betty told me that she had similar experience of suspicious people wandering in her neighborhood. For safety sake, whenever she put valuable stuff in her trunk, she will drive to another place before she park her car for a while. Her guess was that the thieves must have seen us putting valuable belongings in the trunk and waited to break in after we left.
At that time, I was astonished to find out that native people here were also extra careful going outside. When I was in college, I lost 2 cellphone because somebody took it while I was not paying attention. Then I learned to be cautious in public places, even in school cafeteria.
Arriving in US, I forgot about all those lessons, feeling so confident that people won't just take your stuff away. My cellphone must still be in the classroom even if I left it there for a day, someone will probably call my contacts to give it back to me. This happened on roommate once. That's why this Thanksgiving lesson was such a culture shock to me. Not that I am used to living in a civilized place, but I overlooked the extent of civilization in this country.
No matter where we are, regardless of what sort of reputation this place has, we should always be careful taking care of ourselves and our important belongings.