Win a brand new Pacsafe VentureSafe 25L
Thanks to the very kind people at Pacsafe, we're launching the new Travelfish Gear section of the site with a competition giving away a brand-spanking-new Pacsafe VentureSafe 25L backpack.
Pacsafe sent us a complimentary pack for us to review for the Travelfish Gear section, and, let me tell you, it is a great pack -- and if I hadn't promised to give it away, I would be keeping it all for myself.
You can read the full review for the VentureSafe 25L here, but in short, it's an excellent and very secure daypack that retails at around the US$120 mark.
Entering the competition is easy -- all you need to do is tell us, in no more than 200 words, your most entertaining robbery story -- preferably where you were the one robbed.
The deadline for entries in July 31, 2009 and you're welcome to enter as many times as you want. We'll post the pack to the winner. Please post your tale of woe in the thread below.
Thanks & goodluck!
#1 Posted: 19/6/2009 - 14:30
16th November, 2008
Bali 1995.I had walked out of the hotel when I was approached 'accosted' by a group of boys aged about 10, who were selling leather plaited bands. They surrounded us. In a split second they had opened my wallet and taken out $200. The hotel manager asked if I would go with him to the police station and report the theft.We walked into the police station together but the hotel manager disappeared. I told them my tale of woe. One policeman laboriously typed out my statement on an archaic typewriter. Whe he had finished (about an hour later) he rolled the paper out of the typewriter, handed it to me and said, 'That will be 50,000 rupiahs.'
I said, 'Listen, I've come here to report a crime.'
In a more insistent voice he said, 'Fifty thousand rupiahs.'
I looked around for the hotel manager who was walking into the police station.He grabbed me and said, 'Let's go.It all right now.When I arrive here I see my friend. We go to school together a long time ago. He inspector of police now. I take him for drink across the road and now he will put more police in front of hotel.'
I guess my robbery served a purpose.
#2 Posted: 19/6/2009 - 17:12
25th April, 2009
Total reviews: 3
I've been robbed so many times you'd think I'd have leant by now. Some were funny but other times, even long after the event, getting robbed is difficult to laugh about.
One time I can laugh about though was when I was in Phnom Penh with a girlfrend. We'd been sitting at this texmex-ish place down on the river (sorry can't remember the name) and my companion had got up and crossed over to the river to look at something. While she was gone her cell rang, I answered it and it was her Mum, so I said "hang on I'll get her" and stood up, walked to the edge of the road (we were at a table on the pavement) and I held up the phone and yelled out "Katey it's your Mum".
As I stood there, phone held in my hand, a motorbike drove past and the driver just snatched the phone out of my hand! He didn't even slow down - would love to know what Katey's mum said.
So a fancy pack probably wouldn't have saved the phone, but I'd like it anyway please!
And yess, I'm going to add more reviews in soon.
Luv the site - keep it happening.
#3 Posted: 19/6/2009 - 20:48
17th October, 2007
It was 10 years and way before anyone did any serious online travel-homework before going backpacking. South India, going from Hampi, I think, to Mysore. A friend and I, all of 20 yrs old and OH so fresh and naive, on a local night bus. we put all our important belongings- cassette player (yes, cassette. I SAID it was 10 year ago!), sandals, and a vital- VITAL- piece of eyewear (read- my eyeglasses. I cant SEE anything without them...). we went to sleep so we put the bag UNDER the seat. BOY, looking back, we really asked for it. Obviously we woke up to find our bag missing (along with my ability to see...) I had to walk around in sunlasses day & NIGHT until we managed to get some new ones made...
Needless to say a very naive visit to the local police station followed, to be followed by - well - lots and lots of paperwork, and nothing more.
It doesnt take a genius to guess I more or less sleep with my backpack inside my shirt ever since... and it would be GREAT if it could be this one :)
#4 Posted: 20/6/2009 - 00:55
21st June, 2009
DAYLIGHT ROBBERY...........LET ME SHARE WITH YOU A TRUE STORY OF PAIN OVER THE PHONE.....Having just bought a house in Tasmania I was convinced that I should invest in a security system to protect my house when absent..My enquires lead me to a foolproof system that gave you 3 options...Option 1 Allowed you to hook into an existing Network that would monitor any Violations[ at a cost]..Option 2..Would allow for the Alarm to keep ringing untilit was turned off [ Maybe a problem with Neighboursif i am out off Town ] Option 3.. A new concept where if someone set off the Alarm your Mobile Phone was activated with a loud Beep Beep, which would allow you to ring the Police etc..At the same time you could ring your house phone and a special ringtone would be activated..A very LOUD ringing until the phone was unhooked...This sounded great a woory was lifted from my shoulders..Lock me in..The following weekend a Football ga,me saw me awayfrom Home, the Game was very exciting when Low and Behold my Mobile starts making the last noise i ever wanted to hear..BEEP BEEP Game on...Whilst i fumbled in my wallet for the number to the police station I hit my Home Phone number to activate the House Phone..To my surprise a voice answered the Call I said ''Who the Hell are you''.. a cool,calm Male voice answered saying he was a Furniture Removalist doing a little weekend work to supplement his income...I said listen mate that's my house I've rung the Police..He said don't worry i will be gone by the time they get here, look i won't trash your house just do a little Spring cleaning for you...And with that..All i could hear was the Phone beep beeping its disconnect Music...For the record the Police arrived half an hour later...He had closed up the House just removing TV..Stereo System..Carpets..Clothes Dryer..Jewellery ETC..A good days work about $5000.00..Insurance covered Half so I guess that was something..By the way My Team Got beaten..Bob Kendray
#5 Posted: 21/6/2009 - 10:17
23rd October, 2006
This is not a travel story but it's definitely about robbery and quite entertaining.
I was home alone with my English bulldog one morning when I heard the door open. I peeked out of my room and saw three huge dark men. I sometimes act weird in emergencies, so I stepped out of my room and said: Hey guys, why don’t you go where you came from, there’s nothing worth taking here anyway.
Then I told myself I had to hide, and tried to retreat to my room, but it was too late. One of the men, the one who seemed to be the boss, pushed me in and hissed that he’d kill me if I screamed. I didn’t actually want to scream, I just thought that I wouldn’t have put so much effort into finishing my graduation paper and preparing for the exams if I’d known I’d soon be killed.
But, as the saying goes, robbers don’t kill. The men were rummaging through the apartment when “the boss” ordered them to leave. As they were leaving, one of the men was holding a few big knives from the kitchen and wanted to stab my superfriendly dog, but the boss pushed him away. I had the idiocy to bleat: What about the knives? The boss ordered the man not to take anything at all, and the robber angrily stabbed my rubber boots. When they finally left, I locked the door and downed a whole glass of rum to steady my hands. The door lock was replaced the same day.
#6 Posted: 1/7/2009 - 18:14
29th January, 2009
Hi, I wasn't in SE Asia at the time but on my brothers stag holiday in Spain (near Malaga) and I was the best man. There was 8 of us and as you do on a stag holiday we were drinking a lot! It was our first night and we decided to go out in fancy dress (so I was already looking like an idiot) and we went to an area called the '24 hour square' which didn't actually open for 24 hours but I think it was about 5am when we all left. Things were hazy at this point since I was pretty drunk but for some reason our group were split up and I ended up by myself. I walked over to the taxi stand to get a taxi back to the hotel and was quoted 15euros, however these 'really nice' Spanish lads who just happened to be hanging about at 5am offered me a lift home for 10euros. Well obviously I thought this was a bargain and jumped in! It seemed like we were all getting along great until they stopped outside a bank machine and demanded 300euros. This is where it all turned a bit nasty. I tried to run but the alcohol slowed me down. My phone and wallet was taken and I also got a good kick in while on the floor. I was also left in the middle of god knows where unable to ring anyone so I just started to walk down a random road and after about 20mins unbelievably the same lads drove passed and decided to make sure they had taken everything off me and chased me again. I ended up with a couple of stitches on my arm and a few aches and pains but other than that I was OK. Looking back I realised how stupid I was jumping in the car with 3 random people who were obviously targeting drunk tourists, but that was my problem I was drunk and didn't see it!!
#7 Posted: 8/7/2009 - 16:36
29th June, 2009
Total reviews: 5
Must admit this story didn't happen in SE Asia either but in the European Capital "Brussels".
After a night out with the lads, I tought it was a great idea of going home with the first train in the morning in stead of sleeping at the appartment of a friend of mine. So around 6am in the morning I dragged myself to the trainstation. On the way another guy asked me directions to the train station. As a respectable, helpfull and drunk citizen I explained that person that I was also heading that way. So we walked side by side when all of sudden the guy starts to hug me and thanking me for showing him the way. Must admit weird experience ;-)
At on point in time the other guy doesn't follow me anymore and he starts running. Me, the drunk, tought to myself what a weirdo. About 1 min later I realised my cell phone was gone (so the hugging was not because I was so polite or good looking ;-). Now the adrenaline starts rushing in. I ran back to the street where the guy walked in and started running around like a fool, taking right or left at intersections. By miracle I found the guy back and "persuaded" him to give my cell phone back without resulting in to violence (I think he was a bit afraid of a 6 foot drunk on an adrenaline rush).
Got back to the trainstation; caught my train; missed my stop because I fell asleep...Pff most miserable train ride ever.
Just something to think about; about two weeks later a 16y old was stabbed to death in the trainstation for putting up a fight when his Ipod was stolen. Makes you think twice on what could happened...
#8 Posted: 8/7/2009 - 17:25
Two or three years ago I was living in a small two-roomed flat in Bangkok for a couple of months. Each flat consisted of a living room leading onto a very large communal outdoor balcony used for BBQs, parties, sitting and chatting over a beer in the evenings etc, with a bedroom and bathroom at the back. The flats didn't have a kitchen but there was a communal kitchen at one end of the balcony so people used to nip along there to make cups of tea and coffee and breakfast.
The living rooms only had a fan and got rather hot but the windowless A/C bedrooms were cool and quiet once the connecting door was shut. To make up for the lack of windows the bedroom had a lot of interestingly placed mirrors, including a great big one on the ceiling above the bed. It had obviously been a brothel in a previous life and there was a very strange bunch of guys living there (mostly English teachers) including one alcoholic from Iceland who lived with a pretty katoey and said he couldn’t tell the difference.
One day someone complained that his laptop had been stolen from his flat. The owner didn’t take much notice. So many penniless weirdos lived there that she assumed he’d sold it and was trying to get some compensation money out of her. Then other people started complaining about things going missing too and my wallet disappeared from my sitting room as well. It was very mysterious because the thefts occurred even when people were in their flats with their front door locked. Anyway the owner decided someone was actually stealing stuff and set up CCTV cameras in the communal area to find out what was going on.
A week or two later I got a knock at the door and there was the owner and a couple of plain clothes policeman who said they’d caught the thief red handed climbing through someone’s window and found his stash of stolen goods. Turned out it wasn't any of the residents (or their various companions) but a Thai from a flat downstairs. I've no idea how he managed to nip into people's rooms when they went to make coffee and cart off things like laptops without being caught for so long. He also climbed through the living room windows at night and stole stuff when people were in their bedrooms with the door shut. No one ever heard him or saw him and I don't remember noticing him hanging about.
Anyway, a whole bunch of us got driven to the police station to make statements and identify our stolen possessions. Unfortunately my purse wasn’t amongst the things that had been recovered (though the thief did remember throwing it away after he’d extracted the money).
Most people got their stuff back, but no one admitted to being the owner of a pile of about 300 porn DVDs in spite of the police asking repeatedly who they belonged to. I guess the cops got to keep those. ;-)
#9 Posted: 8/7/2009 - 23:12
9th July, 2009
Happy Birthday :(
Brussels March, 2009
A birthday weekend to remember for sure ...
My phone rings, so I answer it, it's my friend who had "pulled". Whilst talking to him on the phone a smaller (than me) male walked alongside me asking for a light, so I said "sorry, I don't smoke."
This male then starts talking about football and pretends to dribble around me at which point he tries to trip me.
I had my left hand on the phone and my right hand in my back pocket on my wallet.
This time I began to fall so automatically I braced myself by pulling my hand out of my back pocket. He had pick pocketed me. So I immediately grab this person, rip open his zip and feel his coat for my wallet at which point another male comes across grabs the wallet and runs off.
There is two!
I chase him and grab his fake leather jacket pulling it off his back.
Myself and the taxi driver stop the 2nd person involved where he acts innocent and amazingly "finds" my wallet. He comes over to the window of the taxi and says "yours?" I take it through the window.
We give chase but lose him in a maze of alley ways.
I mugged the mugger in a sense ... I've still got the jacket today after making sure I bought it back.
Naive then but much more aware now! Lesson learned the hard way.
Happy 22nd Birthday lol
#10 Posted: 10/7/2009 - 10:17
13th April, 2006
Total reviews: 61
From the files of The Worry Collective:
Q: It‘s me again. I finally made it to Thailand but now my lovely doggie Lucky is missing!!! I let her go play with the kids from the neighbourhood Korean restaurant and they said she ran away! I’m so distraught! What should I do? Britney - Chiang Mai
TWC: Stick to the vegetarian menu at the Korean restaurant for a while.
Q: There you go again!! More smartarse, insensitive crap! That poor girl’s feeling bad enough - all your unfunny “advice” could achieve is to make her feel worse! Germaine G
TWC: Your are absolutely right.
Britzer, if you are still reading - give the restaurant a complete miss. They might have one of those customer-view rotisseries.
#11 Posted: 12/7/2009 - 11:41
12th July, 2009
i felt asleep on a train...i had my wallet in my front jeans pocket and a jacket under my arm. When i wake up i noticed somebody cut my pocket, took my wallet, took my jacket while i was sleeping.
I never sleep again in a train...nooooo way!
#12 Posted: 12/7/2009 - 15:08
9th July, 2009
I'm not sure if this is entertaining or not. But a while back, i was driving in KL at night and 2 guys on a motorbike were weirdly maintaining the same speed as me. Suddenly one guy jump off the back of the bike and the rider just goes and blocks me off. Then the second guy that jumped off is now at my window and he breaks it open with his helmet. He got in and told me go seat in the backseat while he went through my stuff. He managed to get my phone and some money. It was all over within 30 seconds or so. After they left, i got out and brushed off any glass on me when suddenly this old dude comes up to me and says, "Boy, i can get you back your stuff for a small fee". As i did not want to be robbed and scammed in the same day I left immediately. All this happened on a busy road at around 9 P.M.
#13 Posted: 12/7/2009 - 16:09
31st May, 2009
Location South Africa
how is this for a robbery story, we are from south africa after all!! caught a flight from durban to cape town had my back pack with me as hand luggage in the compartment above me. As the plane landed and we wanted to leave the plane my back pack was no where to be seen! As we were walking along the tar mac to the airport. there i saw it, A man had it on his back. I approached him and guess what he said to me: "You are lucky this time be more careful in the future" ... the cheek of it!
#14 Posted: 12/7/2009 - 20:23
I realised earlier today that my first entry had WAY too many words so here's another one from me. There was never a dull moment at SUK 11 in the good old days (before it got into LP) so here's one memory of a particular day there and a warning for gentlemen visiting BKK too.
Early one morning, a guest returned from showering to discover a very well-dressed middle-aged Thai woman in her room who claimed to be a cleaner. The girl then discovered her credit card had gone. Meanwhile, at the breakfast table downstairs, a man the woman had been sitting next to earlier suddenly slumped forward unconscious.
The doctor next door diagnosed “drunk farang” but an hour later he was still impossible to wake and there was no smell of alcohol on his breath so Anil called an ambulance.
This wasn’t the best time to have a comatose guest laid out meters from the reception area because Channel 9 TV was arriving that morning to do a feature on SUK 11 for the evening news. For two whole hours people had to distract the camera crew’s attention from the “incident”, but it worked. They never noticed a thing!
The emergency squad showed up minutes after the film crew had left. Perfect timing, if somewhat slow to arrive. Smelling salts and nipple twisting failed to waken the guy but nevertheless their diagnosis was also “drunk farang”.
He came round eight hours later. His last memory was drinking a small Heineken the previous evening…probably Rohypnol.
#15 Posted: 13/7/2009 - 03:50
19th May, 2009
Disposable Fun and Robbery in Thailand
In '98, without much thought, I thought jumped on a plane to teach English in Japan. At this point you might be thinking that I'm going to debunk the myth of Japan being a 'safety' country, but alas even the laptop I once foolishly left on a train platform found its way back to me. No, this tale takes place in Thailand circa '99. The place I considered to be my first Travel experience. Looking back lying on a beach for ten days does not really constitute Travel with a capital 'T', but anyway I digress...
Being my first Travel experience I packed very carefully, deciding after much thought to bring a disposable camera instead of a real one. Because that way in case it got stolen I wouldn't lose an expensive camera. Not that I owned an expensive camera. I was just being Careful. Careful with a capital C. I arrived in Bangkok with two friends and while waiting for the overnight bus to Krabi I hit paydirt. An elephant wandering around the station! I whipped out my disposable camera and in a state of excitement took a couple of photos. We made our way to Krabi without incident and proceeded to laze about on the beach. I took many other photos on my disposable camera. On one of our last nights, we headed back to our bungalow after a few drinks. It was only the next morning we realised the unthinkable had happened - we had been robbed! Some cash had disappeared from my friends wallet and my disposable camera was gone. Despondent, we reported the theft to management. They asked us if we had a padlock on our bunglaow? No. Me? I couldn't believe my carefully laid plans had gone awry. The whole reason I had bought a disposable camera was so it wouldn't get stolen.
I ended up having to get a set of prints off my friend. But there was one picture she didn't have. You might be thinking it's a disposable camera, big deal. But you know what, even after all these years I still sometimes wish I had a photo of that damn elephant...
#16 Posted: 13/7/2009 - 09:10
19th May, 2009
Revised to fit word count - sorry, original had too many words!
Disposable Fun and Robbery in Thailand
Thailand circa '99. I decided after much thought to bring a disposable camera on my trip instead of a real one. Because that way if it got stolen I wouldn't lose an expensive camera - not that I owned an expensive camera. I arrived in Bangkok with two friends and while waiting for the overnight bus saw an elephant wandering around the station. I whipped out my disposable camera and excitedly took a couple of photos. We made our way to Krabi and I took many other photos on my disposable camera. On one of our last nights, we headed back to our bungalow after a few drinks. It was only the next morning we realised we had been robbed. Some cash had disappeared from my friends wallet and my disposable camera was gone...
I ended up having to get a set of prints off my friend. But there was one picture she didn't have. You might be thinking it's a disposable camera, big deal. But you know what, even after all these years I still sometimes wish I had a photo of that damn elephant...
#17 Posted: 13/7/2009 - 11:49
13th July, 2009
First day in Saigon we had been in Vietnam for just 2 hours. Long enough to have a drink sort out our rooms and get changed. We decided that we would go for a walk. So I just grabbed my bag I hadnt even locked up my passport or cards.
We only walked for about an hour, checked out what was what and where it was.
Upon returning to the motel to wash and unpack I found my wallet with cash cards and sundry along with my passport had escaped.
Theyd made a break from my bag along a slash that had been inserted from side to side and top to bottom.
Then at the police station they wanted me to pay to make a statement.
What a waste of time and effort, cant pay when Ive just been robbed of lock stock and barrell
Thank goodness for spouses left at home
#18 Posted: 13/7/2009 - 14:06
There seems to be a definite correlation between the likelihood of being robbed and the amount of beer consumed in Thailand. I’ve been robbed twice and on neither occasion was I asked to pay anything by the police.
The other time I got robbed was after I got somewhat tipsy one night on Ko Samet and forgot a small bag containing my passport, money, mobile phone and credit card on my balcony. Next morning the bag was gone so I walked to the police station to report the theft. As there was no one about, I wandered round the back and discovered a handsome young man in underwear cooking his breakfast who turned out to be the cop. He politely asked if I minded waiting till he’d eaten and appeared about 10 minutes later in shorts and a T shirt to take my statement. Not only did he not ask for any money, he actually gave me 100B in change out of his own pocket so I could phone my embassy!
I wonder if the fact that I had dealings with plain clothes cops (as opposed to the boys in brown) had anything to do with not being charged money?
#19 Posted: 13/7/2009 - 16:09
13th April, 2006
Total reviews: 61
Her name was Soonay, she was a dancer
With Khao Sok orchids in her hair and a G-string barely there
I was so smitten, so captivated
I laid my heart out on the line, and she it stitched up real fine
You are the only one, we will have so much fun
For me a great big diamond ring, for you I promise anything.
His name was Cedric, he was a porn czar
Dude had a seat down by the stage, right next to Soonay’s go-go cage
After the gawking, they got to talking
He could take Soonay really far, make her a big time star
And so she went with him, our affair was kinda slim
He stole my girl, she stole my heart - and she kept my ring!
#20 Posted: 16/7/2009 - 17:50
17th July, 2009
The Kazakh police seemed to admire how efficiently we dismantled our tandem for the flight to Baku, Azerbaijan, but we found, on attempting to leave, that they weren’t finished with us yet. A set-up at Passport Control landed us in a small, dim, interrogation room below the Almaty airport terminal. While our bike was being loaded onto an aging Russian airplane, we were being told we couldn’t leave because, according to our passports, we had never entered Kazakhstan. It didn’t matter that we had the paperwork and the receipts, a stamp was missing. This could be fixed, unofficially of course, for a price. The first price was $170 per person. We finally got out of Kazakhstan for $100 per person. We've since learnt that this happens all the time in Kazakhstan.
#21 Posted: 17/7/2009 - 00:35
Long time reader... first time poster hope you enjoy laughing at my pain :-)
Destination Trang, I had found a massage shop in the town centre, directly across from a small restaurant that served the most amazing 'Moo-o-Char' (specialty Trang pork breakfast) receiving a Thai-massage to belt out the Pain of a cramped-cattle-class flight.
It was a massages where you are fully naked except for the towel over your butt, an experienced Thai-masseuse knows how keep the situation from getting too embarrassing.
My valuables were out the front of the shop in a door less wooden locker, the sound of my flip- phone opening destroyed my Zen like trance.
I jumped up to attention, bouncing to the front, amazingly a teenager, had my wallet and phone. The chase was on, me yelling ‘Stop Penchuri’.. Dammit, that’s Indonesian not Thai!
I caught the thief quickly, across the soi out the front of the moo-o-char restaurant. He stopped as I grabbed his shoulder turned both relising I was in my birthday suit and starting ROFLOL at me and so did the customers and staff at the moo-o-char place.
Laughing, he handed my belongings back to me, totally embarrassed I doubled back into the massage shop where I happily finished my massage ;-) .
#22 Posted: 17/7/2009 - 12:12
20th February, 2009
The following did not happened in SE Asia but in the middle of Europe.
In Italy, and to be more precise, in Naples.
This is an advice to all of them who visit this wonderful city, keep your eyees open especially in the situation I am going to show you:
I am Italian and then I never expected to be a victim of this robbery :)
Close to te railway station there are a lot of people offering you Laptop, cameras or mobile phone, are new and functioning and they try to sell them at a ridicoulous price (let say 10 times less that the commercial value)after you having looked, try and bargain the price, they pack everything and give a box to you. It happened to me that after having bought a camera ad a mobile phone for 50 Euro I got a box in a plastic envelope. I took the train and was curious to see again the goods bought, then after opened the box I found: A BOTTLE OF MINERAL WATER !!.
They are very fast, more thatn your eyes, then do not try to buy anything if you are in Naples.
#23 Posted: 20/7/2009 - 21:30
22nd July, 2009
I'm happy to say, I've never been robbed. I did have an interesting run in with a black market money changer in Bulgaria. I was at a train station and needed change of $100. There were some guys just outside the train stations offering 5 $20s for a $100 bill.
I knew the scam: They hand you the money to count it, take it back and switch it before excepting your money. When he handed me the money to count it I, counted it, handed him the $100 and walked away. He followed me for a while, yelling. I went into a store and when he walked up to me, I have him the 5th $20 and he finally went away.
I got my change. In hind sight, it wasn't the smartest thing I've ever done.
#24 Posted: 22/7/2009 - 07:19
3rd October, 2007
Dateline: August 2006, Buenos Aires, Argentina
A 3 month trip through Peru, Bolivia and Argentina and we made it to our final destination with no incidents to speak of. We'd gotten used to the civility of Argentina: great steak and wine for dinner most nights. On our second day in the city, we watched tango dancers at the Telmo Sunday market and felt intoxicated with Buenos Aires. The next morning we met with an agent to discuss an apartment rental, stopped at an ATM, had a quick lunch, stopped at an ATM again, and made our way into a secured internet cafe. It's the type of place where the man at the desk buzzes you in. We got down to business, checking emails and typing replies. My husband seems to tune out most things as he two fingers his way through an email.
We both momentarily notice an odd character that has just been buzzed in, but dismiss a flicker of something being odd. He's urgently talking on his cell phone and I think he's holding the door open with his foot. His buddy arrives and stands guard by the door with a gun pointed toward the ceiling. Hubby is still typing away and I seem frozen in the moment. The first guy approaches me at my seat screaming in Spanish, apparently demanding my should bag. I give it to him. He also makes a motion toward my stomach as if he wants my money belt. I can finally speak and say, "Nada", nothing.
By now my husband notices the commotion, gets up from his computer and starts tugging the bag away from the thief. I can only think, but not verbalize, "What the @*?! are you doing"? He's also moved closer to the guy with the gun who he's just now seeing for the first time. He feels a gun pointing in his side and releases any grip on my shoulder bag. The two thieves flee out the door with the bag. No other customers were targeted. The kid at the desk phones the police. Two Argentine women sitting nearby comfort me as I just realize what could have been.
The contents of the purse were of no value: eyeglasses, reading glasses, a few maps and some kleenex, a really cool tiny flashlight a friend gave us and maybe a water bottle. The contents of my money belt was intact. We soon felt like sitting ducks. What happens when the thieves realize they have nothing? Will they come back? We decide to leave and not wait for the police. We were spooked. Nothing felt the same that week. We'd look over our shoulders regularly while strolling through the city.
The most important lesson we learned is to always pay attention to our gut feelings. We both knew something was odd about the character that entered, but we never took any action. The other lessons learned include being more discreet at the ATM, and never let your guard down on the street, no matter how sophisticated the city feels!
#25 Posted: 25/7/2009 - 05:43
26th July, 2009
Location United States
Rome, outside the Colosseum, March '95
A friend and I were enjoying people-watching when we noticed a group of little kids running around, playing with cardboard box tops. Cute. Or so we thought. As we started to leave, the kids ran around us, screaming and laughing. I noticed that their cardboard squares had little half-circles cut out of one end. I quickly learned why: the kids -- using a manner of precision that a secret agent would envy -- proceeded to run up to my friend and me in twos and, cardboard overhead, ram us on each side so that we were encased at the waist. Two other kids proceeded to rummage through every single pocket in our pants. The whole process could not have taken more than 15 seconds, and frankly we weren't even aware of what was going on for most of that. Just kids having fun, right? I was lucky: since my money belt was around my neck and above the cardboard barricade, all they got were a few hundred lira and a Bocca della Verita keychain. But my friend was not so lucky, losing both his wallet and camera. When in Rome, wear your wallet high!
#26 Posted: 26/7/2009 - 05:27
19th July, 2009
In Mexico, my boyfriend and I unwittingly left a $20 bill in our car; the money was, of course, stolen. Like idiots (we were young!), we marched into the police station to report the theft.
The cop who took our statement had a huge, bushy mustache, and a spit and polish uniform. He flatly assured us they would find the thief. By then, we’d realized there was no way to identify a $20 bill as "ours" (!) and pointed this out. The cop looked at us for a long time, stroked the tip of his moustache (true!), and menacingly said, "We have ways of making them talk." We knew the cop was probably putting on an act for our benefit; still, he was pretty disquieting. More creeped out by the law than upset about the money, we thanked him and quickly left.
The lobby was empty except for three men on a bench. They weren’t wearing uniforms but seemed to be there in some official capacity. As we hurried past, one of the men looked my boyfriend’s khakis up and down and said, "Hey mister, are you wearing...women's pants?"
My boyfriend was more upset about that than the money!
#27 Posted: 29/7/2009 - 07:12
Robbed in more ways than one
This tale of woe started in the sun
In hot Saigon I was looking for action
I ended up with ‘fatal attraction’
Having some drinks in a seedy bar
I started talking to hottie named ‘Nga’
I thought she said ‘me love you long time’
she actually meant ‘she rub me wrong time’
I took her back to my pokey little room
there wasn’t much room, even for a broom
we started to get all sweaty and hot
but between her legs, a woman she was not!
When I felt ‘her’ standing to attention
I jumped up with great apprehension
I smashed into the wall and banged my head
while screaming profanities and ‘get out of the bed!’
‘She’ quickly made a hasty retreat
I jumped in the shower and scrubbed away the deceit
only to come back to my room
to find my wallet gone to add to my gloom
My fellow travelfishers, the moral of this tale
is that the most gorgeous chicks might be she-males
So make sure you engage in an old tradition for luck
and fondle their crotch before suggesting a f**k
#28 Posted: 29/7/2009 - 21:13
So, how does one respond when they have attempted - as best possible - to avoid being robbed. And, to date have yet to suffer this horrible indignity?
That describes me to this point in life...
#29 Posted: 30/7/2009 - 16:21
31st July, 2009
I was in a world bicycle tour on a solitary thick jungle track.I saw him ahead on the roadside,his hand holding a towel.It looked strange but i let it in the hands of fate and i got close to them.They were two people with a motorcycle hidden in the jungle.The towel hiding a rifle that now was pointing to me.The order was clear and resounding:stop there,give us your money,leave all you have and walk away,hurry.After months in dire straits,two weeks away i received US$ 800 hoping to last me for one more year of cycling.Never mind the money, i try just to save my skin and the bicycle.I gave my spanish a local tone and try to act convincingly.Manito(bro)i'm not a gringo(foreigner).I'm a peruvian going to the U.S.A.looking for work to give a better future to my family.Please i can give you my money but let me take my bicycle.It touched theirs hearts.I was about to give my 800 dollars when i remember I had some money on my rear pannier.I took it and let it on the ground.I even thank them for the favor they made to my children.Happy I lose only the small change i used to buy snacks (u.s.$1), I cycled relaxed till i realized their reaction to know that they had been teased.Then i ran the faster potholes and stones jungle track mile by a cyclist ever.When i heard behind me motorcycle noise I decided not to mind tigers,black widows and anacondas and I entered the jungle to spend the night.I couldn't sleep cause the jungle noises,the heat,the million mosquitoes and the diarrhea attack produce by all the stress.Next day was Sunday and I knew colombians drink and party on Saturday night and sleep sound on Sunday morning.Early morning i arrive to a hamlet where an old man who invite me for coffee ask me :there some bad people here,are you not afraid to cycle all alone?.I tell him:well sir,i think here mosquitoes are yet more dangerous than people .NOTE:After that incident I spent 5 months in Colombia and is one of my favorites countries and people.
#30 Posted: 31/7/2009 - 11:29
Thanks to everyone who entered -- we'll be announcing the winner shortly. In the meantime i'll lock this thread off.
Cheers & thanks to all who entered!
#31 Posted: 2/8/2009 - 06:29
OK, sorry about the delay on this!
The winning entry is mattiemooman's nude bolt through the massage parlour -- congratulations.
I'll be in touch by email to arrange delivery of the bag.
Cheers & thankyou to all for taking the time to enter.
#32 Posted: 10/8/2009 - 09:49
Congratulations mattiemooman, great story!
#33 Posted: 11/8/2009 - 15:00
15th February, 2009
the comp is closed but i`ll tell ya anyway...in kuta (bali) me and my friends hired a taxi and driver for 2days to take us to all the sites and temples ect. so we could get them all done and out of the way. we got out to see some famous rice paddies and left my wallet in the car because of all the people that try and sell you stuff on the street didnt want to risk being pick pocketed. did are thing got back in taxi and there was peeps half in the car ,hanging thru the window begging us to buy anything while we was trying to say NO. then realizing my wallet had gone the street sellers had been crafty `hand is quicker than the eye` gutted!! taxi driver gave us a telling off,,`be more careful,they are very good pickpockets` so on our way to the next temple minus wallet,,money,,bank cards etc my hol ruined,`how did they get my wallet?? im not convinced so when we got to the temple i turn the taxi upside down to discover my wallet in the drivers side door...whats this?? he quickly tried to make a joke of it he had thieved it while we was out taking pics,i was relieved but not happy there goes your tip and im certainly telling your boss and your wife because she worked at our hotel hopefully she might give you the back hander you deserve...probably not though!! so dont trust any1 and always keep your wallet and belongings close by thats my advice...afterwards we seen the funny side..so if theres any gifts u have sparingly hanging around i`ll quietly,,happily recieve them from you for sharing this with you...im cheeky i know.
#34 Posted: 26/8/2009 - 21:34
This post has been locked by the moderator.