Posted by: mollyscafeistanbul | March 30, 2010

molly’s cafe: thieves

what?!  really, and a couple of very interesting thieves.


last year in my old cafe THREE laptops were stolen, two when i was in the cafe.  the thief is good– quick and quiet.  the first laptop was the worst, as he also took my external hard drive, both conveniently in the bag.  a friend then gave me an old laptop, which broke, so i got a brand new laptop, and that one too was taken, a month after i had bought it.  i was a little upset…  after that, i decided to buy dinosaur laptops.  one broke and i had it replaced.  then the third one was starting to break (the blue screen was coming up about three times a week) when one sunday i was sitting in the tea garden having an orange juice and saw the thief and his buddy walking by with a package wrapped in newspaper.  i thought, “that looks like a….  laptop!”and immediately ran to the cafe.  this time they pissed me off, as they had kicked in the door and taken it.  ha ha on them, since it was a piece of crap, but it was disturbing that they actually broke the door.  the next day i had iron bars put up–  a case of closing the barn door after the horse has run off.


how did i know who the thief was, you ask.  he made regular rounds about 8;30 or 9 in the morning and if he saw me in the cafe, he would come to the door and say “eat, eat”.  the first time i saw him come into the cafe i was giving a lesson to my landlords.  he did not see us at first, but quickly recovered, asking if i needed a woman helper.  one time i was in the bathroom.  at that time i kept the door open if i was alone, and so i saw him come into the cafe.  i immediately pulled myself together and confronted him in the entryway, where he asked if the bag there was garbage.  i told him to get out, fuck off, and generally cussed him out in as many languages as i could think of on the spot.

this guy looks like a thief.  his face is kind of battered, like he has been beaten up.  he has big protruding teeth and looks like a rat.  he wears sneakers, as he is sneaky.  he was coming around to my door a few times a week, so i got a really good look at him.

the time he broke in the door, i really got pissed and that time called the police.  first a uniformed officer came and then the sivil polis (non uniform police) came.  i was rattled and had gotten the guy in the tea garden to call the police for me.  the guy from the tea garden brought the first police officer to the cafe and then the sivil polis arrived in an unmarked van.  when it became apparent that i did not have a permit for the cafe, the one sivil polis officer helped the uniformed officer write the report ambiguously so it did not seem to be the cafe, so i would not get into trouble.  they said that since i did not have a permit nor the registration umber of the laptop, they couldn’t do anything.  i gave them all tea and the nicer officer played some of his own songs from his phone.  it was kind of funny, even though i was still angry and rattled.  it’s one thing to have something stolen when i am in the cafe, but another when they actually break in the door.  the neighbour men on the street threatened to beat the crap out of the guy, but of course he did not come around again for quite a while and they wouldn’t have done anything anyway.

recently, however, the teaman next door has told me that my “friend” has been around.  a couple of weeks ago in the morning i saw someone at my cafe door and opened it and there stood the thief.  i started shouting at him and hit his arm, saying “i know you took my laptop, you bastard! fuck off! defol! thief! thief!” by this time he was on the street and running away, motioning that i was crazy.  maybe so, but i wish i were a big guy and could beat him up.


so, that was one thief.  the other one was a customer at my old cafe.  he was turkish but grew up in germany.  some german customers came in and wanted turkish coffee, which i don’t make, so he offered to make it.  at one point i went to the bathroom and also spoke with the germans while he stirred the coffee.  this guy came on to me and made clear he was into feet– not my thing at all– but i passed and let him go his own direction when i closed the cafe.  the next day i realized that 250 lira was missing from my purse.  that was a blow, as every kurus counted then.  still so, but then even more.  i thought perhaps i had dropped it, but i suspected him.

well, about a month ago the same guy came in. he said, “i owe you some money.”  hmm.  i was not sure if he was talking about the 250 lira or money for the tea he had not paid for.  i thought, ok, he is going to pay me, so when he ordered food, i gave it to him.  however, he sat in the back room and took off his shoes (smelly feet!) and was prepared to order all sorts of random things.  at first there were some other customers in the cafe, but they left.  by then my cell phone was in my pocket and i was wondering how loud i could yell if need be.  again he said, “i owe you some money.”  “you mean the money you took from my wallet?”  yes.  he said he remembered that day well and that he had taken “that american woman’s” phone.   i don’t know who he was referring to, but he told me that she had been asking him political questions and was recording them, so he took her phone, put the sim card one place, and the phone another place.  by then i knew that he was kind of off.  he had also put napkins on the presspot filter, over the ash tray, and on the table.  he had also piled some books just so.  i asked if he was going to pay me back.  yes, but he did not have a single cent.  ach.  when should he pay me back?  in a month, i told him.  right.  so he ended up being fed for free and i am still out the money and really don’t expect to see it again.

a couple of mornings later i saw him in the ada cafe on istiklal.  i just looked at him and kep on going, wondering if he paid them for his coffee.  about an hour later he showed up at my cafe.  i asked if  he had money to give me.  no.  then, i said, don’t come here if you don’t have money.  john ash was here, thank goodness, though of course there wouldn’t have been much he could do if the guy had done anything.  i hope the guy does not come again.

so, those are the two thieves for my cafe.  the professional thief is feral and the other one is crazy.  makes life more interesting than i care to see!


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