News and Reviews
January 20, 2013
A very insecure security key
On January 15, 2013 I was returning from a critique group discussion, happy as a lark. It was my turn to be reviewed for the 50 pages of my next book, tentatively titled Re-writing Destiny. The group reported favorably on my rendition of unusual experiences in the Congo before I immigrated to the United States. The general consensus was that they learned a lot about expatriate living which is exactly the intent of the book. I was headed west, a forty-minute drive that could extend to an hour and a half in high traffic.
As I was exiting the freeway close to home, my car started hopping, then clacking loudly. I panicked. I could not stop legally in mid traffic, until I continued on 7th Street North, past Gale Avenue to park my car in between the central lane contained by yellow lines. I exited the car to check the front right wheel. A Good Samaritan told me I had a flat tire and offered to help. I did not take up the offer but went into my car to call the Automobile Club. Unfortunately my cell phone died on me during the call. I thought for a few moments about the next step. The Good Samaritan came back with the cap that had fallen off. He said not to worry because he had alerted the police.? I was skeptical but then he was trying to do good. He parked his car behind mine. He asked me to open the trunk. He brought out the spare wheel to have it ready for the police (?). I watched him like a hawk. Then he disappeared. Two other guys stopped and offered help. Together they replaced the wheel with the spare one. I was standing on the right side in the back of my car watching them struggle with the replacement. The Good Samaritan came back and parked his car in front of mine, walked around to watch the work going on, then he drove away. Since the two strangers had selflessly come to my rescue, under my watch, I offered them a copy of my book. They were grateful and asked if I would sign them. I went back to the car to get a pen from my purse. There was no purse. Except for the Good Samaritan hovering around me there was nobody else on the scene except cars going by.
I feel like I am sitting naked public. Every document that proves who I am was in that purse, driver’s license, checkbook, AAA card, debit cards etc. including cash, stamps, make up kit, flashlight and who knows what else? The most important item in my purse was my extra key supposed to offer me security, in case I forgot my regular key in the car. By the time I notified the bank the Good Samaritan had already purchased gas on my debit card.
To replace my smart key will cost me over $1,000 or I have no other options but drive the car as is. The Car Insurance Company and the Home Insurance Company are playing ping pong about who should be paying for this incident, both refusing to accept responsibility. The Car Agency replaced the wheel that could not be repaired because there was a gash on my tire, the work of a felon. The Good Samaritan, driving a small white BMW (another steal?), is certainly the suspect who stole my purse again at the gas station three days later, on Friday the 18th, because I keep my receipts in my checkbook until I pay them, and because he was the only person who had my car key and my checkbook containing gas receipts from the dealer with his address on it. He not only helped himself with the three fresh checks and debit card that I had just obtained in replacement of the lost checkbook but also stole another checkbook from a different bank, which I carried on the 18th out of necessity, and the last bit of cash I had on me. When I reported the second incident to the police officer, he could not believe me because there was no forced entry. He left without giving me a report.
Can somebody explain security to me and how much more one has to spend to ensure prortection? While I applaud the kind young fellows who helped change my tire (or were they members of a team?),I cannot believe that some other worthless guy can steal purses and BMW’s, entitling himself freely to another’s hard earned income.
Have you had a similar experience? I would be interested.
Hacienda Heights, California.
Author: The Immigrants' Daughter,
- Winner of Dan Poynter's 2012 Global E-Book Awards, multicultural nonfiction. http://globalebookawards.com/2012-global-ebook-awards-winners/
- Finalist in Indie Excellence 2007 Book Awards in multicultural nonfiction.
- Winner Best Books 2006 Award in multicultural nonfiction.
WRITER'S DIGEST: . . . this year's competition was particularly fierce. . . THE IMMIGRANTS' DAUGHTER is a totally enjoyable read . . . laced with the perfect mix of drama and humor, with some occasional sarcasm thrown in for good measure. (Author) is also a master at sensory detail, knowing when and how much to add so that readers are engaged in the surroundings without ever being overwhelmed. Women of all nationalities will be amazed at her strength and character . . . Judge’s comments. Writer’s Digest Self-Published Books Competition, 2011.
EXCERPTS FROM BOOK REVIEWS
- GREAT BOOK FOR DISCUSSION . . . we read and talked about "The Immigrants' Daughter". . . and were delighted with the author's humor. . . the discussion was lively. . . what it must have been like to live in Egypt during World War II, . . . learning your mother tongue . . . in your ethnic school along with the local language Arabic, and . . . ingesting two foreign languages, both necessary for survival in cosmopolitan Cairo. . . what happens when you are forced to leave your homeland and seek asylum in a foreign country . . . how do you deal with a stepmother who is inexperienced . . .The Immigrants' Daughter" is a multi-layered story. . . crossing of cultures . . . clash of mentalities - traditionalism versus integration and emancipation . . . Diane Schochet. Leader of the book discussion at the Huntington Beach Central Library in Huntington Beach, California, May 2010.
- AN UNFORGETTABLE MEMOIR . . . Mary Terzian has crafted a page turning account of her experience growing up in Cairo in a family that considers losing their ties to the Armenian "Motherland" a betrayal of their forefathers' massacre. . . . Terzian makes a peaceful, pre-war era come alive, from the sights and smells of the marketplace, right down to the buttons on her school uniform. You feel her anguish . . . and the pressure to excel as a student while enduring the scorn of her father over wasting money on a girl's education . . . underlaid with aching vulnerability and leavened with humor. . . Maureen O'Brien, Author of "Purgatory Behind the Wire".
- MUST READ . . .The impact of "The Immigrant's Daughter" goes beyond the Armenian-Egyptian bi-cultural environment. The ongoing industrial and economic globalization is creating multicultural societies across the continents. . . Consequently the adaptation of old traditions and cultures with prevailing conditions creates internal strife in families. . . children and subsequent generations could certainly benefit from Mary Terzian's real-life experiences. . . Harut Barsamian, Mission Viejo, California, August 2007.
- AGAINST ALL ODDS . . . Terzian spent her childhood in a community of immigrants in the city of Cairo. These people have been traumatized by genocide and deportation from Historical Armenia under Ottoman rule. . . . She does not understand the "why" behind the disparity in gender roles, the importance of tradition, religious superstitions, and cultural issues . . . The author has a unique way of using tongue in cheek humor to lighten the impact of hopelessness. Terzian is a talented writer with a walth of experience . . . Richard R. Blake, Midwest Book Review, August 2006.
- A QUESTION OF IDENTITY - "Where do you come from?" is the first question of Mary Terzian's absorbing memoir . . . a story about personal identity: of shifting cultural contexts within which a young woman must find, and finally create, herself. . . a thoughtful presentation of a difficult life's passage, and a richly-colored portrait of Armenian immigrant life in pre- and post-war Egypt. Susan Wittig Albert, Story Circle Reviews.
Additional five-star reviews are posted at Amazon.com.
The Immigrants' Daughter