Just considering that I would begin this post with something like, “I don’t know how important it is to tell you that…” should be a pretty clear indicator, but for the sake of documentation, and most importantly, to let you all know that I am OK, let me tell you a little about my Saturday evening.
Saturday was the birthday celebration of a close colleague and friend of mine from Kloop Media, Ilya. Starting with dinner and drinks at his house, we quickly moved on to a nice dance club in Bishkek called Promzona. After what seems like an unreasonably short period of time we decided to change venues to a downtown dance club where I decided not to stick around and that I was tired and wanted to go home. I was tired of paying for taxis and I was very near my new apartment so I decided to walk. The weather was nice.
Sparing you the details, just as I arrived to my apartment building, 2 drunk guys started talking to me. I ignored them and moved past them. As I moved passed them I was struck in the back of my head and neck and fell to the ground. I got up and ran into a nearby 24-hour cafe where I handed my phone to a waitress as it called the Peace Corps emergency number. As she took the phone, I lost consciousness.
Actually, I don’t remember the attack at all because of the minor concussion I received. No, I was not drunk and alcohol was quickly ruled out as a contributing factor. The drinks I had at dinner were light and many hours earlier. I have only been able to put this story together by interviewing witnesses and making a few speculations.
Peace Corps medical staff arrived to the scene within minutes and checked me out. I regained consciousness by the time they arrived, though I don’t remember that either. I was examined at the cafe and then shuffled off to the hospital for a series of tests. I was taken to the Peace Corps office for overnight observation where I woke up at 10am not having a clue why I was there or how I got there; even though I walked myself in without any help.
After waking up I was examined again and taken home to rest, which I did for 2 days.
I want to thank the staff of Arafat Cafe who gave me assistance in my time of need. They were great! (and their food is awesome!) Thank you to Naziia who I was on the phone with when the incident occurred and who also showed up to the scene within minutes. And of course thank you to the amazing level of care provided by the Peace Corps medical staff and the support of the rest of the Peace Corps staff.
Lesson learned? “I am tired of paying for taxi’s so I am just going to walk.” Money might not buy happiness, but being cheap can apparently get you killed! Next time I am taking a taxi!
PS: Sorry for the cheesy stock photo. I have to associate each post with SOME photo, and I don’t have anything more relevant…
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