On being rejected to board yet another train because we were too cheap to pay an additional fee on top of our already pricey train ticket pass thing (did I already mention this sucker was $600+), Sarah and I decided to enjoy one last day in Barcelona. While the lady at the information desk looked up free activities for us, a cute soft spoken blonde girl walked up with a train attendant and the two started talking to another woman at the information desk. I overheard ‘passport’ and had a sinking feeling of what happened. Upon further nosiness, I learned it was her first day in Barcelona (alone) and that her wallet was gone when she got off the train – along with it were her license, credit cards, passport and cash…
She tried keeping a brave face, but soon the tears started slipping and mine for her did as well. The attendant informed her that she could file a report with the police and to see what happens, but there wasn’t much else to be done. All I could do was give the girl a watery hug and send a prayer up for her as I knew that the attendant really meant to say,
“you can file a report with the police and see what happens, but fat chance.”
I should explain that I’m a little jaded when it comes to this topic and I know that unless some divine miracle occurs, the Barcelona police are not going to locate her things.
I should explain. This is not the first time we were witnesses to tourism theft victims. One night while on the beach we befriended a nice couple on our walk home. After exchanging pleasantries and bonding over them being our Canadian neighbors, the guy tried warning us of pick pockets. Assuring him we had many a friend warn us before our arrival, he let out a sigh and wished they’d gotten the same advice.
Earlier that day they just to the city and were having complications with their hotel. Trying to plead his case, the guy retrieved his iPad from his fiancee’s purse that was in their luggage. A few minutes later when all was said and done they prepared to leave when they realized their luggage was gone. A whole 25kg (50lb) bag was stolen in the middle of the day and not a witness to be seen. After filing their report, they left more upset than coming because the police left them with comments such as “things happen” and “this is very common” that made the bitter pill they had to take that much harder to swallow.
Beyond losing all of their belongings (but luckily not their iPad and essential documents/money as they needed it to fix their hotel issues and were all in her purse), the guy was most upset about losing his camera. He had recently proposed and they were going on a European holiday to celebrate. He didn’t want to be the obnoxious friend uploading pics to Facebook everyday so he wanted to wait until they got home. They had been traveling for weeks and Barcelona was just a stop over to their last stop – Dubai. He lost memories, and that (for most people, including myself) is more valuable than any amount of money.
Luckily I had three Italian cities to make me ready for the pick pocketing capital of the world (in my opinion), Barcelona. I hate that some people use the misfortune of others to get by in life. I hate even more that the governing body that iss supposed to help is just as jaded as its citizens and all they really do perpetuate a ‘a better luck next time’ mentality.
I feel like these two occurrences are God warning me of acting reckless while I’m here. Maybe we shouldn’t spend anymore nights in train stations… but that’s another post for another day.