So here's the situation: you're on the last day of your Asian trip and you're enjoying a great seafood meal when suddenly you realize that the bag you placed on your right-hand side is not there anymore! You, a woman who is enjoying the last leg of her vacation, just got robbed by some unknown gangsters! What do you do when that happens to you in a foreign country? Here are seven things you can do, lady!
1. Cry out to the Waiter
The tears will come out for sure but stay level-headed if you can, darling. You will need it because this ordeal is just starting. Call the waiter and tell him you lost your bag while eating. Now you might suspect the robber is just one of their own but it's still important that you make it known to the management that your valuables were stolen, robbed, snatched from your possession. If they have CCTV cameras installed in the vicinity, insist on reviewing them.
2. Call the Police
Law enforcement or, specifically, peace and order situations are handled in different ways in each country, but it's a rule of thumb to report any untoward event that happens to you to the authorities. You just lost your passport, for crying out loud! That's enough reason to go ballistic and hysterical. Having the robbery reported to the police gives you the chance to at least find the robbers. Will you find them that very night so you can have your passport back and go home tomorrow? Ah, maybe not. But you never know... Have your case recorded in the police's logbook so you don't feel like you just let the criminals walk away with no fight.
3. Call Your Bank and CC Company
Block everything pronto! Robbers these days are identity thieves too. They're not just some raunchy, smelly, suspicious-looking bunch of guys in tattered clothes. Many of them are sophisticated and know how to use your cards so they can exploit your resources further. Tell the restaurant or the police you need a phone and Internet connection to call your bank and credit card companies to block your cards. They will extend help.
4. Curse and Cry
No one will judge you for doing so. Losing your most important documents on top of cash and cards is the most frustrating thing that can ever happen to any traveler. You just want to hit the wall and scream injustice. Then you think about skinning those idiots to death and making them pay for what they're causing you. Go ahead, vent and let the disappointment show. Just be mindful not to hurt anyone or damage property. You're still on foreign territory, remember?
5. Call Your Hotel
You don't have a single penny because everything is in that bag. You don't have any money to pay for a taxi so you may want to consider calling your hotel for help. Briefly tell them what happened and then ask them to arrange a taxi or a car for you. You might not do that under normal circumstances but this is a desperate time and you need all the help you can get. If you haven't done it yet during the police blotter or at the restaurant scene, call family members and friends for help. Tell them what just happened and ask them for cash. Search online, when you get to your hotel, for the location of the nearest Embassy in case you still don't know. Note to your future self: take note of emergency contact numbers. You need that to get a new passport. Your Embassy or Consulate should be able to help you out too.
6. Post What Happened on Social Media
Let the world know about it so they will avoid the same fate. And who knows... you might get tips from your followers or friends. It's also a way to just let the feelings show. Feel the anger, it's alright. I won't go as far as lambasting the restaurant unless the staff were unhelpful and uncooperative. In the same breath, do not also curse the entire country for what happened to you. Robbery can happen anywhere. While you're exhausted and feeling low, it's not good to judge a country by the robbery.
7. Carry on
Then... move on. But after how many days, you may ask? It really varies. Be sure to stay in constant touch with an Embassy or Consulate personnel. Cases like yours are often expedited so now breathe, take some rest, and hope for the best.
Who else got robbed during a vacation? Would love to know how you handled the situation.