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2007-09-30

How to get beat down on the street

Before you read further, let me at first state this:

Generally I feel safer in Bucuresti than I do in Oslo. In Oslo guys (and girls) drink more, and all the clubs close at 03.30, so around that time there are tons of drunk people on the streets. So there are more random acts of violence. But while living in Bucuresti for the last year I haven't heard of anyone getting into any kind of violence here. It just seems safer in general here.

***

OK. So my friend Bryan and I are leaving the club "Embryo" here in Bucuresti, close to the the center. It's 03.30 on a Saturday night, and we have walked 50-60 meters when we meet a group of people, about 4-5 guys and 3-4 girls. Bryan and I are speaking English together, maybe they hear that.

Suddenly - completely out of the blue - one of them hits me really hard on my forehead. I had noticed the guy half a second before and thought he looked kinda drunk and/or dangerous, but there was no eye contact, no spoken words, nothing.

I fall down to the ground, shaken and confused, at first not realizing what happened. After a moment of confusion I say half-loud "what the fuck?" so they hear me, but none in the group seem to care. They're just walking away, slowly towards the club.

The guy doesn't come back for more, no one in the group says anything to me. My friend Bryan valiantly follows them, calling the police at the same time. They stay outside the club for 5 minutes, but then disappear before the police arrives, probably because they see Bryan being on the phone and staying close by them.

After the police disappears, because we don't really have any description, I'm feeling better. My head is still hurting, but not so much. The only thing I'm afraid of is that I might have a concussion, but it seems I'm OK.

So I guess I'm lucky. If the guy had hit three centimeters below, he could have crushed the glass in my glasses and blinded me. Six centimeters below - broken nose. Nine centimeters - broken teeth. So I'm not complaining.

***

Ironically, the same thing happened to my younger brother while he was studying in the small town Grimstad, on the south side of Norway. He was also just struck down for no reason, except he didn't even see the guy, and he was hit on the nose and mouth so he was bleeding like crazy.

Anyway. Am I going to be more scared of people after this? Not go out that much? Look over my neck? I hope not. And as I said, it seems there are less drunk people here that in Oslo, so the chances of this happening are very slim.
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