Lately, I have been noticing many stories of crimes and attempted crimes happening around Yangon on Facebook and although not all of them are being reported by local media, these crimes seemed to coincide with the release of prisoners on the presidential amnesty. The authorities may try to deny it, but they can’t deny the fact that two police officers were stabbed to death by a man they were trying to capture. It turned out that the man was recently released from prison with the presidential amnesty.
Two months ago, my wallet was stolen by a pickpocket on my way back home from work. I lost over 250,000 kyats ($200) that day, which was about half of my salary. Ever since then, I stopped taking buses whenever I was carrying a large amount of money in my bag. In fact, I had been taking taxi whenever I go out.
But taking taxi is not always safe. Today, I read an account of a woman who went missing in broad daylight after getting on a taxi. She called her family to say that she will be coming home in 15 minutes but she’s still hasn’t been found. I think she was wearing jewelries so she got on the taxi so she was probably robbed by the taxi driver. I just hope she is safe and sound L
A few minutes ago, I read about a girl who had a bad experience of having to listen to the taxi driver playing a porn movie on her way home. She was scared so she didn’t dare to tell him to stop the car and get out immediately. I would have done that if I were her or I would have got out while the car stopped at traffic light.
There are also other cases of people robbing others in broad daylight by pretending to be their family member. I read about a girl who got beat up a man who pretended to be her sugar daddy and took off her gold necklace. Typically, people just stood and watch without helping her because that’s what they do when they see men beating up women in this country. They only went after him after the girl shouted that he was a thief.
I read about a similar incident in an article last year. In that article, the man witnessed a man beating up a woman at a bus stop and the passers-by didn’t interfere because they thought that guy was her husband. They only found out later that the man was a robber. The writer then suggested women not to stand alone at a bus stop and go outside with a companion if possible. I remember getting mad when I read that article. I don’t remember if I had written about it before.
Also, there are reports of men attempting to open the car doors at traffic lights while the cars are being driven by female drivers. Luckily, these drivers had locked all their doors so the men went away.
One thing for sure, I will never feel safe whenever I’m outside again. I’ve stopped wearing jewelries and I will try my best to take the bus as much as I can and hide my money in secret places instead of putting them all in my wallet. Even so, I will need to be extremely patient to take the bus these days because the traffic has gotten worse after the government allowed the construction of three overpasses at the most congested areas in Yangon. Not only are these overpasses being constructed at the same time, the YCDC has also been installing new pipelines along the road in some townships like Yankin. It used to take me only 30 minutes to reach home from Hledan, but now it takes over an hour.
Ever so, I will have to endure it as much as I can. I will also avoid taking taxis if there is another passenger in it. Sometimes, the taxi drivers try to take extra passengers who are going the same way and the passengers have to argue with them not to take the extra passengers.