How many times can I learn the same lesson?Posted: June 21, 2011
Let me begin this by saying before this particular year-long adventure, I had never had anything stolen, lost, misplaced, or vanished from my possession (at home, or in my travels).
Our trip just beginning, Aman and I were admittedly not in the right frame of mind. Having spent three months apart things were a bit exciting, strange, and at times a bit tense. I had been in Tanzania for those three months and Aman having just arrived …well if anyone knows the two of us, we aren’t the portrait of agreeable couple. In any case, our passports were left in a taxi one evening (it was dark, it had been a long day, blah blah) but no matter how you slice it, it was human error on my part. The worst part about the entire debacle was that the taxi driver did a car check when we got out – light on and everything – and decided that we hadn’t forgot anything in the backseat. Yeah right. Anyway, what followed suit was an awful five days of tracking said taxi driver down and confronting him, missing flights, expired visas, bribing police officers, two-day Canadian consulate visits, phoning home and waking mom up at 3 AM, and the beginnings of the worst bacterial infection this girl has ever had the pleasure of having. Just trust me when I say, it was terrible. I am however so thankful and lucky that we managed to get things sorted out, eventually, and finish our amazing East Africa trip without many more problems.
Fast forward to our first month in Paris. Things are going great. Until, of course, I am pick-pocketed on the metro and two BlackBerrys are stolen. Really, the only important part of this story you need to know is a few weeks prior, my lovely and forgiving boyfriend told me (with much enthusiasm) that if he EVER lost his phone, he would be “f*cked.”
So at this point you think I would have learned all there is to know about watching one’s belongings. You think wrong. I had to leave Aman’s notebook in the airplane seat pocket before I finally learned.
I must say, quite honestly, that I was so incredibly careful after these three incidents. I locked all my stuff up when sharing hostel rooms, I never went out with more cash than I needed, I left my passport at home in a safe place, I carried a different bag that nobody could steal from, and I kept it close on the metro and in public places. However, even when someone is as careful as can be, shit happens. On our most recent trip to Italy I had the fabulous privilege of having my wallet stolen! I was trying a dress on, and in 10 seconds it took for me to show Aman, someone managed to go into my fitting room and steal my wallet right out of my purse. They even zipped my purse back up so I had no idea until I left (and they too). So bye-bye brand new wallet from Florence and my credit card, debit card, SIN card, etc. you get the point.
This was pretty much the straw that broke the camels back. Or maybe it was when the store employee said “well, look at it this way, now you know.”…
It is the principle people. I have never stolen anything in my entire life! Why do people do this? Do you think after they took my wallet and looked at its contents that they felt bad they had stole from a traveler? A visitor? That now she might be really effed? I’d like to think they would, but, probably not.
Oh well, I guess it’s time to rock the money belt my parents always push on me.