Monday, May 3, 2010

Day 2 is about Lost and Found...

I woke up with tummy discomfort. Oh! No... you may say. It's the last thing you would want to have in travelling, tummy problem.  But when you are sick, you are sick and I was still thankful that I was able to walk around instead of being bed bound.  So, I went to La Sagrada Familia, to start my day.  My original itinerary for today was:
  1. La Sagrada Familia, Sagrada Familia
  2. La Pedrera (Casa Mila), Diagonal
  3. Casa Batllo, Passeig de Gracia
  4. Casa Amatller, Passeig de Gracia
  5. Palau Guell, Drassanes
  6. Casa Museum Gaudi, Lesseps
  7. Parc Guell, Vallcarca
 as I said..a day full of Gaudi works.  But it turned out the day became La Sagrada Familia and Police station.

What happen?
 I was pick-pocketed

How could this happen?? 
I was in the shop, trying to figuring out what to get as for presents for Alice in the shop and wondering on my uncomfortable tummy.   Next minute… as I was approaching to the casher drawer, and realised… Where is my travel wallet which was in the hand bag ?? GONE! i.e. Money in cash, credit cards card and passport!!!

What?? I had a minute just standing over there trying to figure that out! It's GONE? Really?? Oh NO!! And panic just came straight at me! I need to tell someone about it...  

Information desk 
Me: Hello! I'm being pick-pocketed! All cards, cash and passport are gone!
The girl in the information desk:  Then you are better going to the police station…
Me: Where??
The girl in the information desk: I show you… map??

So she gave me the direction and I went to pay my unexpected visit to the Spanish Police station, with leaving my mobile number behind.  The girl in the information desk said that it's possible the wallet will be found with all the document, but cash will be gone.  In my heart, I was thinking… "Really?? How possible is can be?? Beside, you are not even asking me for the description of it.  How likely it is??"
But I did go to police station and made a report (there around 1330 hours).  The policewoman who dealt with my case found that the place of event was in the shop of La Sagrada Familia, she went, 'classic, huh?'.  With her limited English, she still can make this kind of comment, then I truly know how classic it is.

I made loads of phone call to cancel my cards, and most importantly the Australia consulate for my passport.  To say the consulate is there to help their fellow citizens, BOOOOOOOOBOOOOOOO! I needed to call all the way to Madrid as the one in the Barcelona only opened 2 hours in a day (handy! NOT).  And my first connection was cut off by them;  luckily, my second connection made through and that fela basically advised me to go straight to Madrid to get the cost of 98 Euro emergency passport back to UK.  However, in Barcelona, it will take up to 3 days to arrive; they can try to get one done immediately in Madrid.  The question is, how I can get there?? The guy in the consulate went 'Just jump on the train'.  What?? Do you know how far it's between Madrid and Barcelona?? And how much it costs?? Beside, what about my UK visa?? How I can get that to go back to UK?? Well… it is a question to answer after the passport, so I need to make the decision, staying in BCN or going to Madrid??  Don't know!!

After 2-3 hours in the police station, I really don’t know what to do.   I was waiting and hoping to hear some news from Sagrada Familia, but actually I didn't know what I should be doing.. Continue the plan or heading back to the hostel?? Sigh! No mood for the traveling actually… so I decided to go back to hostel.  As I passed the 2nd metro station, my mobile rang...

The girl on the phone: Miss MaayySSzzzz Chang..
Me: Yes…
The girl on the phone: It is a call from Sagrada Familia..
I was quiet for a minute, not that I was waiting for what she got to say; but because I wasn't sure what she said that she is from.  But I only had give the number to the information task in BCN; so I assumed it is her.
Me: Did you find my wallet?
The girl on the phone: Yes
Me: Ok.. I'm going back to get it now!

Horray!!! It did happen!! My wallet was found at the end in a toilet. Cash is gone (10 Euro in total) but all my cards and passport is still here! Tears are running around my eyes! I was truly relieved when I found my passport.  Thinking that all the hassle in  getting an emergency passport, cancelling my flight to another time… Praise God for protecting my belonging!!! I can't help but realising that HE is truly in control, not only about losing the wallet, but also finding it and controlling myself in all these.  Thank God!!

It was a 5 hour panic! But at least my passport is found, what I have I learnt:
  1. Separate the passport with cash… I should use the hidden pocket and tuck it in my pant or something.  Anyway, no passport with Cash
  2. Should use the hidden pocket
  3. ZIP up everything.  I can't remember how it happened; but the zip mustn't be up completely as I was changing lens with my handbag.. That's why it wasn't zipped up properly.  NO zip up, opportunity given! So, yes.. I admitted that it's my mistake
Always learn a valuable lesson in the hard way. But at least, it's here!!!  

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