Problems Abroad (long and rambling)


Streets Avoided

 This will forevermore be referred to as:

The Fiasco

Yesterday was a bit of a rough day. When I was posting things the night before on the blog, they were posts I had written either previously or on the train to London but had not had a chance to upload. Before I was finished, I decided to take a break and go for dinner.

Then everything took a craptastic turn. My credit cards were gone. Gone. Missing. No longer in my possession. My driver’s license also happened to be in there too along with a few American dollars, literally like $5. I searched everywhere. I tore through my bags, tossed my room, ran outside and looked all up and down the sidewalk… Vanished. My immediate thought was that as of Tuesday morning, I would have nowhere to stay. I’m not traveling to Rome without reservations but I am staying with nuns who only accept cash upon arrival. My intention was to get to Europe and pull enough Euros out of the ATM. Yeah… nope. The prospect of staying on the streets of Rome until my plane leaves was not appealing in the least. It was positively terrifying.

Your first impulse may be to jump to the conclusion that I was pickpocketed. Well… embarrassingly, I don’t think I was. I took a taxi to the apartment I was renting for the two nights – more on that later. I paid for the taxi with the credit card! I stumbled though on the way to the apartment as the driver could not park directly in front of it but had to park down the road. I don’t recall any person being around or walking past me between the taxi and the door. So I either managed to leave it in the taxi or what I suspect happened, is it fell out when I stumbled. Either way, I managed to truly screw up my trip.

Checking online showed that neither card had been used in the approxiamently three hour span. That at least was a huge relief. Surely the taxi driver, who was very nice, would have brought them back, right? I certainly would have paid whatever fare to get them back.

Anyway, after running up all of my available minutes on my international plan and then some, having to up my international minutes, and probably still going over, I had to have my husband call the company and fix it. My husband. Oy. He was on a plane when all of this happened and I knew he was going to call as soon as he got home. Ideally I would have had a resolution before having to explain that I was going to bankrupt us via our phone bill, money wires, and exchange fees. Good one, self! Yeah, that didn’t happen either.

So I spent a good chunk of the day yesterday trying to find an open Western Union. If any of you are in the same bind, a small place called ‘Internet City’ has wonderfully helpful people. It’s just up from Trafalgar Square. The exchange rate is also 5 cents less per dollar than King’s Cross and with no commission fees. The only hitch is that the amount they can exchange depends upon how much they have available that day and they are a small but busy shop.

Thankfully, my credit card company is going to fast-track a replacement card to Rome and the nuns agreed to accept it. My husband wired me money to my stopover as well so I can get Euros to pay for my room before it arrives. Those of you who were hoping for souvenirs… you may be out of luck.

So, lesson learned. Streets avoided.

Categories: London, Problems Abroad, TravelTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 comments

  1. I am now thinking about how in will carry my cards and cash because this could easily happen to me. A cross body storage system maybe? Specially designed travel pouch? I am sure I have something similar already. I will delve into the depths of my wardrobe and see what I can find. I’m enjoying your posts btw 🙂

    Like

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