Saturday, September 1, 2012

Our 20th Anniversary Adventure - Part II

If you've ever lost your wallet (or had it stolen) you can imagine the panic that started to settle on us after Brian realized he didn't have his. If you've ever done this while in a foreign country, you know that panic is even greater.

The good news is that we didn't have our passports on us, so we knew that at the very least, we'd be able to leave the country and have enough documentation to replace what was gone. But the thought of replacing all that ID was daunting and depressing. Remember all my earlier posts about how long everything takes here in Abu Dhabi? Those lines, paperwork and bureaucracy was about all we could think about that evening.

Our plans for a nice Anniversary dinner were shattered as I instead starting looking online for advice and Brian started calling the credit card company and the train station. As Brian started taking inventory of everything he had in that wallet, he got more and more upset, which is to say quiet and brooding. Not a very festive atmosphere for our anniversary. 

We eventually decided to go back to Florence the next morning and try to retrace our steps in the hopes that either 1) the wallet was forgotten at the last purse store we visited, or 2) the wallet had been left on the train. That decision made, I headed off to bed, while Brian continued to research.

Our mood not a whole lot better the next morning, Brian and I set out for Florence, while Brad and Sherry stayed back at the villa, feeling helpless and sorry for us.

We got to Florence and made our way back to the purse store. The owner was really sympathetic, but didn't have the wallet. And then went on to rant about the state of Florence these days and the horrible problem with pickpockets. He was convinced that Brian had been pickpocketed and that the wallet was gone forever.

Brian, however, was adamant that he could not have been pickpocketed and that it dropped out of his pocket while on the train. So, we headed back to the train station to try and track down a lost and found or the police.

After a bit of searching we found the "Train Police" and explained our situation in as simple English as we could muster as the policeman spoke only Italian. He went off with Brian's passport and we waited ...

And he came back with Brian's wallet!!

You cannot imagine how shocked, thrilled, amazed and grateful we were. We just couldn't believe our luck and thanked him profusely in Italian. There was surely a good Samaritan on that train that day and a guardian angel looking after Brian. Not a penny was missing.

And now? We are a lot more careful about what we carry with us. It was an eye opening experience for all of us and a good lesson learned. We realized how much extra stuff we both carry in our wallets when we travel. Things we don't need and really don't want to lose like work staff IDs, local Health insurance card, etc. We also realized that we need to divide our credit cards between us so if one wallet is lost, we still have a way to get cash. Had Brian's wallet truly been stolen, we would have been without a credit card for the remainder of the trip. Not impossible, but really inconvenient. We were really lucky and now try to travel a bit smarter.

Oh, and the Anniversary? Definitely one to remember. I think next year we'll try to have that nice dinner instead :)

No comments:

Post a Comment