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Thursday, February 7, 2013

How I Met Sam - Post Engagement

So the first week after we got engaged was just a whirlwind of fun, excitement and the drudgery of everyday life - which seemed laborious in comparison with the heightened emotion of planning a future together.  My friend Melissa was visiting and she wanted to take a visit to China to see where Sam lived and worked and where we would eventually be living together once we were married.  We planned the trip for the following Wednesday and were going to spend the night and return the next day.

We got to the factory compound where Sam lived and worked and took a tour - it was really quite impressive.  Full tennis courts, gated entry, polished marble flooring, a grand piano, two cafeterias, a ginormous kitchen...

We enjoyed the evening together and went to bed since Sam would have to be at work early.  Around 5 or 6 a.m. (long before I or anyone was going to be up!) Sam received a phone call.  It was Lincoln - the neighbour who I had run to on the night of the burglary.  He asked to speak to me immediately.  Sam came to the room Melissa and I were staying in.  Groggily I got up and picked up the phone.  "Hi Sarah," he said.  "I've had a hard time trying to get through on the phone to you.  You need to come back immediately.  There's been a fire at your house.  Since your parents are away in the U.S. you need to come and sort things out."

I got off the phone and quickly arranged things for our departure.  All the way home I thought, 'Usually a fire is just a small, minor thing.  I'm sure it won't be that bad.'  Then I'd think the opposite.  I wasn't sure what to expect.

We got home and there was caution-tape roping off the whole front of the house.  It looked pretty bleak and black.  The entire front windows were broken.  We entered.  Water was everywhere and soot and black destruction.  An acrid smoky smell filled the place.  This was no minor fire.

A molotov cocktail lay nestled on a couch.  A second one lay on the floor where it had started the fire - the rug burned through.  The intense heat had melted whatever couldn't burn outright.  Thankfully the home is constructed of concrete, which didn't burn, so the structure was safe.  But most everything on the ground floor was smoked, burned or water-logged.

At 3 or 4 a.m. a neighbour had noticed the fire and smoke and called the fire department.  In our absence, it had gone undetected for enough time to burn the contents of the ground floor.  The third floor resident had to be rescued though her place wasn't on fire - but smoke inhalation threatened.

Apparently, someone had wanted to discourage us from continuing to take up residence in Hong Kong.  Apparently, the same someone had hoped a burglary would be enough.  And perhaps that same someone had hoped that with enough discouragements I might not testify in the trial about being clobbered on the head with a brick.

After the burglary the police had been unwilling to see a connection between the assault with a brick and the burglary - stating it was just a coincidence these two thing occurred weeks apart.  After the fire they admitted there seemed to be a connection.

No Duh.


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