Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thievery!

So I was within 3 hours of leaving Kaula Lumpur on a night train bound for Thailand. Just as a precaution I figured I should go to the internet cafe and print out the paperwork they say you need for a Thai tourist VISA, although they rarely request it. I had my back pack locked up at the train station and my day pack with me for the mission with all my special stuff.

I was just about done. I was cautious with my things taking them with me to the toilet and to retrieve copies. Someone bumps the back of my chair, I turn one way, the guy next to me hastily gets up and I turn to see his head dropping down the staircase. I look down for my day pack that I had at my feet and it was gone.

So there I was, no identification, not a ringit left in my pocket, and stuck now in Kuala Lumpur. While it's a bummer to have lost my camera and a ton of photos, my journal, sunglasses, daypack, and various little things that were precious to me and are probably now lying in a dumpster back in Kuala Lumpur, I was moved by the swift and generous action of people to help get me back on track.

The internet cafe let me use the computer for free to start sorting things out. Jan back home took my call at 4 in the morning and got on the ball to wire some funds. An aussie next me gave me 30 ringgit. The officer on duty at the US Embassy gave me some good advice and his cell number in case I needed anything else. An interesting and generous Malaysian man at the train station helped me sort out a trip to the police station to get a police report and get my bag out of storage without paying a 50 ringgit lost key fee (which I didn't have).

Come morning the ACS officer at the embassy was a wealth of knowledge and helped me out with a typed letter from the embassy so that I could receive the funds Jan sent with just my passport copy. One of the Officers that took my call the night before had me shuffled to his que so he could see how it was all going and gave his contact info should I need anything else before leaving. By just after noon, I was off to the Malaysian immigration office with a temporary 8 month passport in hand. The taxi driver on the way there gave all his tips for not getting ripped off by taxi drivers. The immigration office had closed the line for VISA application, but they let me in the que anyways. And by 4pm that day I was back at the train station with another ticket for the night train to Thailand.

While it took 1 or 2 bad apples to take a bag, it was swiftly countered by the generosity and assistance of many many GOOD people. THANK YOU to all who helped me get up and running again so quickly!

2 comments:

Stacey said...

Holy cow! That sucks - for lack of a better word. I'm sorry too that you lost your pics, journal, and all the things that were special you've collected over the trip. Good thing you have so much posted online... they can't steal that!

Take care, love ya lots!

~Stacey and Fam

Rajshri said...

OH, April. I'm so sorry that happened to you. I am so glad you found good people to help you out. See you soon.

Love,
Raj