So I met with Slava again at the hostel’s office et voila, no thief had shown up and returned the money. Also, the third victim, somewhat acquainted with the thief, didn’t show up either. 1 + 1 = …
Slava called the police. And then for me the most boring time in quite a while began. Slava told them on the phone what had happened. They sent two uniformed officers to the office to whom Slava told the story again. They called home and had a car sent to bring us to the department. Memory is getting hazy there but we waited at least half an hour for that. In the car, Slava told the story again. So far, nobody had so much as addressed me.
At the police station, Slava finally made his official report, while I waited in the hall. Through Slava and his translator app I was told that for me an official interpreter would need to be found and summoned, which might take several hours.
We were then driven to the crime scene, i.e. the hostel, along with a team of three investigators, who photographed everything, looked for fingerprints, … the whole shebang. Slava had to give his fingerprints as well and I was mentally prepared to denounce ownership of the money to avoid that, but miracle-like, I was left alone and not even talked to. So, more waiting (or ещё ждать, as the joke between Slava and me went by now).
Back at the police station: ещё ждать. Finally, at 6pm Evgenij, my interpreter, showed up and within less than half an hour my report was filed and signed. The good news: Before we left, the officer told us that they had already identified (albeit not yet found) the guy (he had checked in with this no-show third victim guy, so no contact details of his had been recorded at the hostel). The bad news: Proving that he had indeed stolen our money would be difficult (impossible) so chances of having it returned are slim.
My plan for today had been to take the train to the southeastern city of Gomel at 3.47pm (not far from Tchernobyl in Ukraine). That didn’t work. So I think I’ll bite the bullet and leave Belarus towards Vilnius (northwest) tomorrow.
However, I have to be back at the police station tomorrow at 10am for I-don’t-know-what. I hope it won’t take long.
After this very straach ordeal of waiting I went bouldering.
Ironically, I’m staying at the very same hostel again, and worse, was allocated that thief’s bed! I chose a different one. And at least I don’t have to pay.