1. I watched a snake eat a child
I was going to visit my dad with a colleague of his while he was working on his M. Phil. Our destination would take us across a place called Lama; which to date sports “Danger: Wild Elephants” and police patrols every few miles. This was about a decade ago and there was little to no civilization save the highway and the indigenous villages every few miles.
We were in a drop top jeep making our way up the hilly roads when we noticed a commotion by the roadside. Violence was common so our driver parked a little farther ahead and went back to check if there was an issue on the road ahead.
He comes back 2 minutes later, white faced and frantic, asking whether we had a weapon on us; a knife, walking stick, anything to help.
Things were getting pretty loud and the crowd was swelling. We noticed people group off stamp and shout.
I get off and walk a little closer and just stand there, probably in shock while I see 20 or so people on 2 ends of a very very large snake. It must have been a Python and perhaps the memory makes it that much larger. All bunched up trying to lock in its coils.
People hack at the thing with sticks and stones as they keep trying to unfurl it. The snake is writhing and thrashing but generally just trying to curl in tighter.
That’s when I realize, a little dizzy, that the snake’s jaws are very very wide and there are 2 little legs sticking out of it. I think the legs were still twitching, struggling, alive.
We watched in terrified fascination as the sounds and the image sunk in. Someone asked whether the kid was alive, whether they could cut him/her out. The crying was getting louder. And every few seconds there was a sickening screech as a little more of the kid disappeared.
We headed off when they’d finally managed machete like knives from a nearby village. They were hacking at the snake trying to get at the child. It was more than likely too late, but we just wanted to get very very far away.
I threw up twice on the way, we were both shaking. I slept very badly that night.
2. I watched a woman get kidnapped at the gas station
Was standing next to my car at a gas station pumping gas when I noticed a girl walking down the side of the road across from me.
She’s kind of cute, so I’m watching her for a second, when a car pulls up next to her. It follows along for a minute when three big guys jump out and grab her. She starts screaming and trying to fight them off but they overpower her and shove her in the back seat.
The car pulls behind a closed-for-the-night auto shop right there where they grabbed her. I could still see their car from my vantage point. From all the way across the road I could still hear her screaming as the car rocked from the fight happening inside.
Meanwhile, as soon as I realized what was going on, I immediately called 911 and gave them a play-by-play, including descriptions, plate numbers, etc.
After a couple minutes, the car pulled out and booked it down the road with the girl still screaming in the backseat. They must have been doing 90.
It fucked me up severely to witness something like that. I resolved right there and then that I would NEVER stand idly by while something like that happened again.
I now carry a handgun and have been trained to use it. I hope to God I never have to, but I will if need be. I will never stand by and watch somebody get hurt like that again.