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KARACHI, Pakistan — In this city by the sea, the odds are good that in the time it takes for a stoplight to turn green, you’ll be approached by a man with a gun. He’ll tap it on your window, and because enough people have been shot attempting to resist being robbed, you’ll hand over whatever you have. Here’s how it feels to get robbed at gunpoint: Every drop of liquid in your mouth will dry up. Swallowing will become impossible. Your hands will shake as you try to find the most valuable thing you own. Each breath will feel like knives sticking in your lungs. The first time it happens, you won’t stop shaking until you’ve returned home and told someone about it.
Everyone I know here has their own little choreographed dance for surviving traffic-jam robberies with the least amount of loss, My mother slips off her gold rings and hides them in the pocket on the back of the passenger seat, along with her credit cards, driver’s license and most of her cash, But she still keeps a reasonable amount of cash in her wallet, so as not to raise suspicion in case a thief looks inside, I keep a Samsung “burner” phone in my purse, and sit on my pricey iPhone, There’s a SIM card in my burner, and I have the number memorized to recite at a moment’s notice, (I’ve heard sparkly ballet flats wedding of thieves becoming suspicious when they’re offered cheap phones, and wanting to make sure they’re not being duped.) On the chance a man with a gun wants to call my phone to make sure it’s really mine, I’m ready..
According to the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee, 23,740 cell phones were reported stolen in Karachi in 2011, and another 21,238 in 2012. These numbers are likely low because so few robberies are reported. There has never been a time in Karachi that I have sat at a red light without feeling worried. Once, at an intersection that has a particularly nasty reputation for being dangerous, a man crossing the street made eye contact with me. My heartrate didn’t settle until the car trip was over.
Getting mugged is almost a rite of passage for anyone of sparkly ballet flats wedding means in Karachi — so people don’t really talk about muggings as terrifying and horrible ordeals, Instead, conversations with friends turn into competitions, People will brag about which item of theirs they weren’t forced to give up, thanks to whatever clever system they’d devised, It’s terrifying having a gun pointed at you; but occasionally, the thieves are sympathetic, A journalist friend once begged an armed robber to give her back her smartphone, which had recorded voice memos from politicians and other interviews she was desperate to hang onto, He relented..
Of course, most of them don’t. I once heard of a thief who fired his gun into a car’s front tire because the victim didn’t have a nice enough phone. I’ve been lucky. The last time I was mugged, the thief who took my wallet realized I wouldn’t be able to get home without money to pay for a ride in a motorized rickshaw. Quite sensibly, he wanted to know how much he should leave me for the ride home. What’s more, a sympathetic driver jacked up his price quote so I could get some extra money back from this thoughtful criminal. I still remember how politely I thanked him for the change he handed back.
Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, “Flesh and Metal: Body and Machine in Early 20th-Century Art,” more than 70 artworks that explore a central dynamic of art making in Europe and the Americas between the 1910s and the early 1950s, through March 16, “Her Story”: Prints by Elizabeth Murray, 1986–2006, through March 30, 11 a.m.-5 sparkly ballet flats wedding p.m, Wednesdays-Sundays; Thursdays till 8 p.m, Stanford campus, off Palm Drive at Museum Way, 650-723-4177 or museum.stanford.edu, Gallery 9, “Letters Home Across the Fields,” works by Menlo Park artist Joyce Savre Hutt, Through March 1, Gallery 9, 143 Main St., Los Altos, 11 a.m.-5 p.m, Tuesdays-Saturdays; noon-4 p.m, Sundays, 650-941-7969 or www.gallery9losaltos.com..
Pacific Art League of Palo Alto. “Abstractions,” a juried exhibition of 40 works by 31 California artists, Main Gallery. “Stamps on Paper,” works by Mario Rosales, Servane Briand, Sunny Chen, Suhita Shirodkar, Caroll Woods, Amy Tang and Katherine Kain. Both exhibits through Feb. 31. Ceramics by Phyllis Lee, Craft Gallery, through March 31. Pacific Art League, 227 Forest Ave., Palo Alto. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays. Free admission. Stanford Art Spaces. Jenny Bloomfield: Transform Motion; April Hankins: Chain Reaction. Through Feb. 28. Center for Integrated Systems, Paul G. Allen Building; David W. Packard Electrical Engineering Building; Psychology Department offices in Jordan Hall on the Quadrangle. Open during the week during business hours. Information: DeWitt Cheng at 650-722-3622 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women’s Caucus for Art- Peninsula Chapter, “New Beginnings,” art exhibit in celebration of David J, Canepa’s induction as Mayor of Daly City, Through March 31, 8 a.m.-5 p.m, weekdays, Free, Third floor Atrium Gallery, Daly City City Hall, 333 90th St., Daly City, http://peninsulawca.blogspot.com, The San Mateo County History Museum, sparkly ballet flats wedding “Relocation: A Constitutional Mistake of Historic Proportions,” presentation by Steve Okamoto about the forced removal of Japanese from the Pacific Coast during World War II, 1 p.m, Feb, 15, San Mateo County History Museum, 2200 Broadway, Redwood City, Free with admission to the Museum: $5 for adults, $3 for students and seniors, www.historysmc.org or 650-299-0104..