When I first moved to the street I currently live in, the first time I walked to the corner shop I ended up surrounded by a gang of chavs halfway down the road who robbed me of my Tommy Hilfiger body warmer, River Island handbag, and the contents including my purse and all my money without them laying a finger on me or speaking one word to me.
They surrounded me, all with vicious glares on their faces, pointed at what they wanted and I meekly handed everything over whilst crying my eyes out.
The second time I ventured out, I walked to the cashpoint and had the money wrenched out my hands the second the machine spat it out. Not once. But twice. Yes, I was that much of a niave div; I just turned back around and made a second withdrawal. It didn’t even reach my hands before a DIFFERENT person altogether shoved me roughly aside and helped themselves.
This time I didn’t cry, but I didn’t say anything either. I just stood there open mouthed in silent shock.
The only way to walk down my street without being mugged, jumped or robbed; is to give off an air of false confidence, look full of cocky bravado and have a menacing “don’t fuck with me” glare.
Now I wear an Adidas jacket with a hole in the collar from where the security tag was pulled out. I cover my panicked stricken facial expression with the hood up- because it’s impossible to look anything other than nervous and downright intimidated if you’re staring down at the ground while walking. I never take anything more than can fit in my pockets (including my clammy, shaking hands), and have mastered the art of taking cash out the cashpoint then shoving it down my knickers in less time than it takes someone to blink- down to perfection.