Last night, I had an unexpected encounter with a man, a very unpleasant encounter. It was all too brief, and perhaps that was the best thing about it. So you’re probably thinking “what happened?” Let me tell you the story.

I had just left a reputable establishment in Abdoun with a friend. We decided to walk up to the circle to get some fresh air and falafel sandwiches. The walk is a short 10 minute one, nothing special I thought. Little did I know. Halfway through and on a deserted patch of road, as I was quietly talking to my friend, I felt a tug at my shoulder. My handbag, slung over my shoulder was yanked off by the hand of a young man. As he grabbed the bag, he ran away into the darkness to the right of the road. What he didn’t expect was my habit of holding on to my bag straps as I walked, and so with my bag came me!

I held on as he ran, and as I was holding tightly the thoughts in my head raced in two opposite directions: let go, and hold on. I was holding in because I really didn’t want to get robbed, it would be a great nuisance. I didn’t want to go through the hassle of dealing with the police, the government, or the bank among others. I wanted to let go because my personal safety comes first and there is nothing irreplaceable in the bag.

As these conflicting thoughts were going through my strong grip prevailed as did my screaming voice. The man let go and ran into the abyss. I know that had he not let go when he did I would have. Nothing is worth being dragged in the dirt. I am glad though that he didn’t know that ;). I dusted myself off and got up. Intact, safe and with all my possessions where they should be, I stood up and started walking again. I was calm, and collected. I felt my friend was more shook up by the whole event than I was.

I don’t feel scared, angry, or upset. I am no more paranoid about walking in Amman than I was before. The only visible imprint left from the whole ordeal is a scrap on my left shin. The memory I believe will become a laughable anecdote in the future. Until then, walk cautiously, look behind you regularly, and when necessary LET GO!