Paranoid about theft
I think that my experiences as the victim of theft have finally driven me to the edge of insanity. This afternoon, I was about 15 minutes' walk away from the hostel — on my way to go exploring Montjuïc — when I was suddenly seized by a flash of paranoia. "Oh s$#%", I suddenly asked myself, "did I shut my locker before I left the hostel?" I knew that this random, irrational fear was most likely unfounded: but I also realised that so bad was my paranoia becoming, that if I didn't turn around and return to the hostel straightaway (to check the locker), then I'd have no peace of mind for the rest of the afternoon. So I walked briskly back to the hostel. And, as I suspected, I had indeed remembered to shut my locker, and it was locked safe 'n' sound when I inspected it. Dear G-d: what on Earth is this trip doing to me?!
My paranoia about theft is worse right now than it's ever been before, for two reasons. First, there's the sheer number of incidents I've experienced over the past year: in Peru (twice); in Ecuador; in Italy; and most recently, (almost) here in Spain. Second, and more importantly, there's the enormous number of "horror stories" that I've heard about theft in Spain, and that have filled me with a preconceived fear of this place: stories of people getting beaten for their cash in side alleys; stories of bags being slashed and their contents snatched through the rips; and stories of thieves so quick and so dexterous, that one allegedly pulled the sunnies right off a guy's face, just before the doors of a train started to close.
The feelings have reached a climax right here and right now: the paranoia is worse than what I've experienced at any other point in the trip. And I swear, I am so sick of being in this constant state of fear and anxiety! Even with hostels that provide secure locker storage for valuables such as passports and cash, is there no solace to be found for me? Has theft (or fear of it) utterly consumed me? Have I gone mad? I certainly hope not. As Shakespeare's King Lear once said: "O, let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heaven!" Anyway, as long as I don't deteriorate into the sorry state of that poor (albeit fictional) old bastard — and as long as I don't start quoting Shakespeare offline — I'm confident that my faculties are still intact.