My first truly bad experience (while travelling)

So I won’t go over the top with this. I was robbed at knifepoint last night. My first ever robbery! It was strange, surreal, and everything seemed to go so slowly, yet it was over so fast. Here’s how it went:

I was sitting on a hill in Athens, near the Acropolis. It was about 8:30 at night, and admittedly that probably wasn’t too smart. Yet I was in a spot where no one should even be walking by… But two guys did. They came up behind me, asking for the time. I told them, and they waved and walked away. I thought nothing of it. Five or so minutes later they calmly walked up beside me, and even then I just thought they were (for some reason) walking past me. But before I knew it, there was a knife in my face… Much too close to my eyes. “Money, phone!” I was in a calm shock, and simply held up my hands as they rifled through it all. There weren’t even many thoughts running through my mind at the time. In fact, it wasn’t really until they started walking away, with my two passports, 80 euros, mp3 player, knife, and tablet that it registered how much I was losing. Passports of course being the really “oh, fuck” moment.

In a daze I clumsily ran down the hill. As I entered the streets I couldn’t say how many people I asked for the police station, yet just about everyone gave me differen’t directions. Even the police themselves didn’t lead me to the right location. Yet when I did find some police, they told me I had to go to another police station, a few metro stops away… they didn’t even ask for a description of the guys. And so, maybe an hour and a half later, I found the police station. I made my report, but at this point my mind had calmed and it was registering that I would very likely get nothing back. The police told me that maybe the passports would be found… But the next step was to contact the embassies.

So I wandered off back to where I was staying, told my couchsurfing hosts of the nights entertainment, and then proceeded to find out how much crap I would have to deal with to sort out the passport issue.

Long story short, it’s going to be a few months worth of food money if I replace both passports. Which is a real kick in the pants. The money i’ve lost, the tablet, mp3 player, and my birthday knife are not so important in comparison (though the pictures and videos I had on my tablet are also a real loss). But I am alive, physically unharmed. Many people in the world cannot say that when encountering those… less-than-kind people in the world.

The worst thing here is a large portion of travel funds falling away becuase of maybe a minute or two of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. But for a year and a half of travel, and losing almost nothing, I suppose I have done quiet well… And this is just another experience to put behind me, I suppose. I’m staying with some nice people, i’m in a big city with the embassies I need, and otherwise i’m in no rush.

As the famous saying goes, “shit happens.”
Onwards and upwards. Be careful out there. From now on my alert level is definitely up.

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About OutsideYourWorld

I'm a Canadian from Vancouver, BC. In the winter of 2011 I quit my job and sold as much as I could to travel. I began in the summer of 2012, in Glasgow, Scotland. I have travelled since then, and don't plan on returning home for a while yet. I travel to experience different cultures, languages, landscapes, and to further my knowledge of... myself. Travel is what makes me happiest, so on I go.
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4 Responses to My first truly bad experience (while travelling)

  1. thewindandrain says:

    That’s too bad man. Glad you are alive. When someone asks for the time I tend to say I don’t know or give them a guess. That has a lot to do with the fact that I don’t have a phone, but not showing them a phone goes a long way in their impression of how much they could steal from you.

    • Being alive and physically unharmed is of course something I am immensely grateful for. And when they asked, I really never even thought that they might be scoping me out. Of course now I am much more aware, so that in the future I can avoid these kinds of…setbacks.

  2. WOW, glad you weren’t hurt, I cant imagine what I would have done in your situation! Losing the pictures does suck greatly as well, but remember, the universe always has a way of turning things around, who knows what adventures you may encounter now that you have to extend a stay!

    • Haha, it was quite surreal. Funny how I didn’t feel fear, felt nothing at all really… It was a good learning experience, anyway.
      Well Athens hasn’t been so adventurey otherwise. But perhaps that’ll change. If not, whatever, the road is always ahead 😉

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