There’s A First Time For Everything… Ahrgh!

It was long overdue. Just recently, I’d been thinking how lucky I’ve been that this had never happened to me. Years of travelling, ten years of living in London. Once, I lost my laptop in Copenhagen, but it was returned to me a couple of weeks later. I’d never been robbed or pickpocketed. Until today.

It happened on the Tramvia 28. While I was paying my fare, there was a lot of pushing and shoving, and someone swiped all the cash right out of my purse. I lost about โ‚ฌ200. Nothing else, mind, my bank cards are still there. No point reporting it to the police, I wouldn’t get it back, and we’d just be wasting half a day. I’d probably learn some useful new vocab down the police station, and we all know I’m pretty obsessed with that, but not THAT obsessed.

Besides this unfortunate incident, Sofia and I have had a great day. Beautiful sunshine, lots of photos and a delicious lunch of soup, seafood and a chocolate mousse to die for. And I sure wish I’d paid for said lunch when I still had my cash, rather than Sofia!!!

The scene of the crime: Tramvia No. 28

The scene of the crime: Tramvia No. 28

I’d love to know – where and when was your “first time”? Spill, people…. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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63 thoughts on “There’s A First Time For Everything… Ahrgh!

  1. northern_star

    Oh buggeration! What bloody bad luck. I guess it’s a good thing it was was just cash and not cards but even so! Boooooo!

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  2. everywherebuthome

    Before I went to Mongolia, I’d never lost my wallet, my keys, or my phone. And then, the night of my friend’s wedding, my wristlet disappeared, so I lost them all in one go. To this day, I don’t know if someone swiped it out of my bag or if it just fell out while I was digging for it in the taxi. The best part wasn’t needing new keys or a cell phone – it was that my residency permit and (American) debit card were both in my wallet.

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  3. suej

    Oh, what a ghastly thing to happen…at least they didn’t run off with your credit cards. As you said…aaargh! Here’s hoping the rest of your festive season works out well, and all the best for 2014 ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      It’s annoying for sure… but not a major catastrophe. I was more freaked out over losing my laptop that one time, and it had just slid out of my bag, which I hadn’t zipped up properly. Ironically, I also ended up paying โ‚ฌ200 to have it couriered back to me ๐Ÿ˜‰

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    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      Am absolutely determined to enjoy it, thanks Sara ๐Ÿ™‚ There’s nothing I can do, so no point in fretting over it. I’m not going to let this ruin my time in lovely Lisbon. What a beautiful city!

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  4. Zyriacus

    That will teach you to have your fare ready in hand before mounting the tram. – Only time I have been robbed was onboard, in the port of Swansea/Wales. We were not even been moored, when the ship was already swarming with ladies of disputable reputation. When they finally were shooed offboard again, I missed the cashbox from my radio office, where I kept the shoreleave money for the crew – about 800 pounds.

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  5. wannabe polyglot

    Ack! Sorry to hear, that sucks. I was mugged on the tube in London. Bills right out of the front pockets of my jeans where I was sure I could tell if someone tried. Turns out I couldn’t. But I remember exactly when it happened, sadly way after the fact. Typical, one guy to distract me with a silly question and gone was all my spending money.

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  6. Mani (A New Life In India)

    I’m also still a virgin but I was very close once. In London, some years back, I was walking with my boyfriend at the time, no one around in that street except us, except apparently one other guy. My ex, for some reason took a look back and found a guy one second away from pickpocketing probably my whole wallet which was in view of my open bag. He ran away. After that, I make sure my bags are closed and you can’t see inside them. I don’t know how he got so close without me noticing, they’re good.

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  7. Expat Eye

    Aw no! That sucks. It’s actually never happened to me (touches wood) although I’ve been warned about it in pretty much every city I’ve visited. It happened to my mum outside a shopping centre in Dublin. She didn’t even feel it but was really shaken after it. Horrible thing to happen. I hope the rest of the trip goes well.

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      1. Expat Eye

        Yeah, I think that was it – the helplessness of it. And she’s not a helpless kind of person ๐Ÿ˜‰ Wonder who I take after!

        Hope it doesn’t sour the trip for you!

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  8. Jackie Cangro

    Oh, this just stinks. But at least you’re able to look on the bright side of a lovely afternoon with a friend!
    I’ve not had this experience. The closest I came was when I nearly lost my passport on a train platform in Italy. But it was returned to me by a good Samaritan who found it.

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  9. Every Day Adventures in Asia

    OMG – however cash isn’t such a catastrophe as everything!!

    My 1st bus ride in Delhi in 1995 was a bit like what you describe – a sudden push of ‘villagers’ on the bus, jostling, crushing, neatly taking everyone’s valuables and getting off the next stop. I learned how to write an “FIR” (first incident report) at the police station in Hindi and knew I’d never see my Canadian Social Insurance Card or anything else ever again.

    What rocked is a couple months later I had become much more seasoned and the same group got on at a different stop – I was savvy enough to jab back, keep my valuables and get them kicked off before even getting on the bus to pilfer from others!!

    Quit while I was ahead and just made a fuss rather than try to get them arrested… am sure they had been slipping the bus conductor a ‘cut’ and there is only so much a crazy ‘firangi’ can get away with too!

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    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      I was counting on your contribution here ๐Ÿ™‚ You know, I was wondering about the conductor… I think he was (at least) aware of what was going on… those people were working in a group.

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  10. pollyheath

    Oh no! Sorry to hear that! I’ve actually never been mugged – neither in DC nor Moscow, which is surprising considering I’m incredibly lax about keeping an eye on my things (or even zipping closed my bags). Thank god, since I get paid my salary in cash and often forget to deposit it, and wander around Moscow with thousands of $$.

    Ooops, shouldn’t have said that, should I?

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  11. June

    Sorry to hear about you being robbed. Glad to hear it didn’t ruin your day. As you say, at least it was only cash and not cards or something sentimental. Bad karma to them!

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  12. con jamรณn spain

    That’s a bummer and fair amount too. Sorry to hear it. S had her purse stolen at a party a while back and someone threw a concrete block through a double-glazed window to steal M’s collection of 70s progressive rock CDs. Apart from that, been lucky. We’ll buy you lunch if you ever come to Orgiva – to make up for it a little.

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      1. tobyo

        welcome! I was ultra paranoid about this when we were in Spain 3 years ago. such that I purchased a special purse (not the most attractive) that has special clasps that prevent potential thieves from reaching inside. it works well as long as the clasps are closed…..

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      2. ladyofthecakes Post author

        After two years in Spain, I’ve only lost a pair of sunglasses. I left them somewhere, realised and returned half an hour later, but nada ๐Ÿ˜ฆ And I was thinking… in Germany, someone would have handed them to the shopkeeper and they would have returned them to me.

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      3. tobyo

        typical of Los Angeles as well: I wouldn’t expect to find my lost anything in Los Angeles, CA. I think it’s more a luck of the draw kind of thing. as I have experienced both sides of the coin in all kinds of places.

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  13. Karolyn Cooper

    Sending you sympathy from London, where I’ve had a phone stolen from a cafe on Kingsway, and a handbag stolen from a bar near Waterloo. Each time the thief did something to distract me.
    Stay safe, and enjoy Portugal!

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  14. Debbie

    That’s a miserable start. I had my purse taken in Barcelona about 12 years ago. My daughter had fallen over and I’d stopped to get a plaster and wipes out of my bag. I probably forgot to zip it up again and when I went to buy our bus tickets a bit later, there was no purse! Enjoy the rest of the trip. I am envious – I love riding the trams.

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  15. bevchen

    Aaargh, so annoying! I had my purse stolen in Paris a few years ago. Only lost about โ‚ฌ100, but had to cancel all my cards. The most annoying part was losing one of the few photos of my step mum I had.

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  16. Kim G

    In Rome in 2003 I once lost a fairly expensive camera (~$2,400 USD). To this day, I’m not exactly sure what happened, but I think it was stolen. I had spent the day walking around the city snapping photos, and I think I put it on a tripod to take a time exposure. Someone may have distracted me while someone else ran off with the camera. I’m not sure. What I do know is that I had spent the entire day alternately carrying the camera by the strap around my neck, and in my backpack. At some point in the early evening, I discovered it was missing. I retraced my steps, asked strangers if they had seen it, but it was never seen again.

    The most annoying thing? I had felt positively photographically inspired that day, and lost all the wonderful shots I had taken.

    Ever since, I’ve been super-cautious.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    Where we’ve learned from Northern European colleagues that Italy has a certain “reputation” with regard to such things.

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    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      Aw, that was indeed an expensive loss! And all those lovely photos ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I read that Hemingway lost a whole trunk full of short stories once, he must have been rabid. If he was sober enough, that is.

      Yes, Southern Europe has that reputation. And not just for stealing, but also for not returning lost items. There’s a very strong ‘finders keepers’ mentality, which is alien to ‘us’ northerners (and the Japanese).

      I lost my laptop once in Copenhagen (it slid out of my bag, which I hadn’t zipped up properly), and it was returned to me.

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