Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pickpockets

When travelling, be wary of pickpockets. I have had firsthand experience with this, but it was all due to my own irresponsibility.

While in Paris, my sister and I bought HUGE bottles of Evian water (because we were constantly thirsty - it was a hot summer - and because they were cheap). I brought a medium-sized Longchamp purse, in which I kept my wallet and chapstick and other lady essentials. On the day we were headed to the airport, I had to bring a big backpack, my purse, and the Evian. My hands were full while purchasing metro tickets (to the airport), so I put my Evian in my open bag. After buying the tickets, I put my wallet back in my bag and decided that the Evian was being conveniently held in my open bag and left it there.

We were going to take a pit stop at the store Agatha (they are the trademarker of the little scottie doggie, site is in French) on our way to the airport so we got out of the metro to head there first. After we'd picked out a few things to buy, I realized that my wallet was not in my bag! Somewhere between buying our metro tickets and arriving at that boutique, I'd been robbed!

It was a horrible situation, but thank goodness we'd already booked all of our hotels and we'd kept our passports safe in our luggage. We still had our metro tickets so we headed to the airport and made a collect call on the pay phone to my dad. I asked him to cancel all of my credit cards and to please wire us some cash. There's a hefty fee to wire cash (my dad paid a fee of $35 to send us $300) so it sucked, but we didn't have any other choice.

Once we got to our destination (Barcelona), we were able to buy metro tickets with the few euro that my sister had, and we headed to the hotel. My sister had her debit card with her but she hadn't activated it (don't ask me why, she's weird), so when we got to the hotel, we had to borrow a laptop and skype with Chase bank to get that settled. It took a while because they kept asking security questions that she did not know how to answer (like what month and year did you open your Chase checking account?).

The moral of the story is to be careful! Keep your money separated throughout your luggage so that you won't be left in a situation like mine: no money at all. We were lucky that our passports weren't taken, so that's an important thing to note as well.

I've also heard some stories about thieves who carry around fake babies, throw them at you so that your arms are up to catch the baby while their accomplice robs you from behind. There's another one where a lady performs a strip tease out in public to grab spectators' attention while her accomplice goes around collecting wallets from pockets while everyone is distracted. Just be aware! Ladies, guard your purses, and guys, store your wallet in difficult-to-reach places (like the pockets of tight jeans or the inside pocket of your coat).

2 comments:

  1. OMG at the fake babies!!! I would definitely fall for that :( but I'd hope upon realizing it was a fake baby I'd turn around and beat the thief in the face with it. But I know it all happens so fast :(

    Some boy in Paris was trying to mug me or something, I made the mistake of walking down some sketchy rue lol (google maps will tell you the shortest distance between point A and point B but it doesn't tell you the crime rate of that location!) I kept an iron fist on my purse's zipper whilst using my other hand to keep my skirt down in the wind. It was a bit scary but I ended up okay and got his number and a free cigarette out of it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. yeah, that's why being a girl's better b/c you can have a tiny purse clutched under your armpit, which would be difficult to swipe vs. being a boy having to utilize just pockets

    omg!! you should write to google maps and tell them to include crime rate!! HAHA

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...