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Be careful out there

Maryalicia Post has some words of wisdom for delegates attending the XXV Congress of the ESCRS in Lisbon.

Maryalicia Post

Posted: Thursday, October 5, 2017

 

The other day I was surfing the net for a pair of ‘travelling shoes’.. the kind that slip off easily for the security check in the airport.. and I came upon some with a hidden compartment built in for credit cards and cash. Not a bad idea.I’ve kept one card and some cash separate from the rest ever since I first lost my wallet to a pickpocket on Las Ramblas.

Most people who travel have some experience of pickpockets; after decades on the go, my personal score is Bad Guys 2, Me 2.

Yes, someone did fish my wallet out of the bottom of my backpack so adroitly I never felt a thing. But also in Barcelona a cab driver parked his vehicle and chased me down Las Ramblas on foot to return a camera I’d left in his taxi.

A thief in New York’s La Guardia airport snatched my handbag from the trolley (while I was wrestling my case from the carousel).. With it went passport, eye glasses, credit cards, cash.
But on the other hand, when my wallet slipped out of my bag in a London taxi it was returned by post with every single item in it intact. My offer of a reward was refused.  “I was raised to be honest,” the driver said.  I sent flowers to his wife.

Did I learn anything from all this? Yes I did. In terms of time wasted, stress and inconvenience losing a passport is a major travel catastrophe – and filling up all the forms for replacing travel documents without eyeglasses more than doubles the challenge. I don’t plan to go through that again- I pack a spare pair of glasses and I keep the passport on me.

To do that, I first tried one of those pouches that clasps around the waist; it felt bulky and uncomfortable and was a nuisance to take off for security.. Currently I have a slim wallet that hangs around my neck; it makes me feel like a pilgrim with a scapular but it’s easy to get on and off and has slots for couple of credit cards.

A photo copy of the passport ID page and credit cards (both sides) stays in my suitcase. And I try to keep one credit card and some cash separate from the rest. Where? That’s why I’m thinking about those shoes.