A very affectionate mugging: Never assume muggers in London aren´t nice people

*Some more retrospective blogging. Sorry. Though I think this one is definitely worth sharing.*

London was the first city I ever lived in. I was born and raised in a town in South Africa and was very much a small town boy when I moved to London. I was an aspiring mugger or thief´s wet dream, as I constantly opened and left my wallet on shop counters, walked into dodgy neighbourhoods waving my phone and mp3 player like a rooky. I was so green, that I once got stopped by man wanting to mug me at a busy train station and instead of just walking away, I almost let him take to an ATM where he was going to force me to draw my daily limit for him. Fortunately, I was snapped out of my silly trance and walked away . This was a lesson for me and I avoided trouble for the rest of my six and a half years in London… or that’s what I thought.


It was three weeks before my departure from London (to Abu Dhabi) and I had just left a concert and was waiting at a bus stop just across Big Ben. I was alone at a deserted bus stop, listening to music and doing what any good Londoner does when at a bus stop or on a train, looking at the map. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed two guys walking towards the bus stop. Nothing wrong with that picture. I take out my phone to check the time and my iPod to change the track.

The two men then started walking towards me. This was London. People don´t walk towards you, they don´t talk to you (unless the sun is out) and avoid any kind of eye contact. However I was not concerned, probably a drunk tourist looking directions. One man then stands next to me and taps my shoulder. This is the dialogue that followed:

I remove earphones form ear

Tonito : Yes?

Man 1 : Do you know any coke dealers mate?

Tonito : No, sorry. (I apologise like any good Londoner!)

I put earphones back in ear

Man1 taps my shoulder again and I remove earphones again

Tonito: Yeah?

Man1 : Do you want to survive the night?

Tonito: What?

Man1 raises his voice slighlty

Man1: DO you want to survive the night?!

(At this point I´m slightly confused and think he is destitute and wanted to share his philosophy on how to survive life on the streets)

Tonito: Sorry mate, I don’t have any change.

Man1: I don´t want your change! Do you want to survive the night mate?!

(Now I´m very confused and have no idea what the man wants)

Tonito: Mate, I have no idea what you on about!

Man1: Mate… This night can end one of two ways for you… Good or Bad… You decide!

(What the hell?!?! Was I on a game show or something??)

Tonito : Uh?

Man1: Like I said mate. The night can end good or bad.

(At this point I realize… Oh yes… I´m being mugged)

Tonito: Mate, I only have twenty quid on me.

Man1: That will do.

(Quite a cheap mugger, but hey, he wasn´t taking my iPod)

I hand him over the twenty pound note in my wallet. Man1 then moves closer towards me. I can´t see his hands

(I´m going to be stabbed. This is my time!)

Man1 goes on to give me a kiss on the cheek and a hug.

Man1: Thanks mate!

(Wait! Did I my mugger just kiss me???)

The mugger and his friend walk away, while I am twenty pounds short, however still own a wallet, iPod and phone. Definitely the most bizarre experience ever. So a word of caution to anyone visiting London, muggers can be affectionate.

This is a true story. Promise. Though I would not believe it if someone had told me this.

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6 Responses to A very affectionate mugging: Never assume muggers in London aren´t nice people

  1. Emma Parker says:

    Hilarious, and the ‘illustration’ is priceless. Did you do that?! If so, with that and your Libyan fly diagram you have a calling as a graphic designer.

    • Tonito says:

      Thanks Emma! Though I have to admit, that the Libyan fly picture and the finger mugging picture aren’t my own creations… Both of them were from chain mails I had in my email… I only wish I was that creative!

  2. Umer Ehsan says:

    Love this story…

    You’re lucky they didn’t hit you with that old school London shit, it plays out like this:

    Mugger: Got any money?
    You: I haven’t got any.
    (Mugger looks at you… ponders)
    Mugger: Jump up and down!
    You: What!?
    Mugger: Jump up and down!!
    (You jump up and down… your pocket jingles)
    Mugger: Lying little bastard – gimme your money!!

  3. Wow this is almost unbelievable! Where exactly in London did this happen?

    • Tonito says:

      This happened in front of the Marriot across Houses of Parliment on Westminster Bridge… Not crime central that´s fore sure! 🙂

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