Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Slit Shoulder Bag and Stolen Wallet: Another India Adventure

We've arrived in Goa and are staying a self-described quirky establishment called Vivenda Dos Palhacos.

Just before leaving our hotel this morning to catch a 9:50 a.m. flight, Kathy realized that the canvas shoulder bag had been slit and her wallet was gone. As well her metal pouch containing medications was cut and bottles had spilled out. Fortunately we had kept very precise tabs of who had which credit card and ATM card and divided them between us. She lost no cash so the only monetary loss is the leather wallet and the slit bag, which we left in the garbage can.

We immediately e-mailed and called son Dave, who very efficiently contacted the various outfits on our behalf. Luckily he was home from work anyway due to snow.

Later on the bus to the plane, a British citizen of Indian heritage told Kathy that he had had the same thing happen to him en route to Goa a year earlier. The first he knew about it was when his bank phoned to say that purchases were made in Australia using the card. Apparently the thieves quickly sell the cards to people who operate a very sophisticated scheme to crack the pins and passwords profitably.

India continues to strike us as a very tiring place in which to travel. Without going into too many details, we faced serious challenges in getting our boarding passes printed, and we were fortunate to sit together on both flights.

Our first flight to Mumbai was a lot quicker than we thought and this 1 3/4 hour trip included a meal that wasn't bad. Transferring at Mumbai is another thing.

First, we had to walk a considerable distance. We then learned that we had to go through security again. This one was a challenge. The authorities for whatever reason would not accept Ellyn's and Haley's boarding passes, printed on flimsy paper, and they had to return to a service center that would place the stamp of approval on it, which an employee literally did, without looking at it.

It turns out that one is supposed to have a separate tag on one's hand luggage for each leg of the trip. An official ceremoniously tore off the tag on Brian's computer bag and placed it on the floor. In due course, however, the official put another tag on it and stamped it. Kathy was made to find, open, and turn on her electric toothbrush. One of the officials unrolled Kathy's carefully rolled up Scotty vest and shook it. A few minutes later another passenger asked if the i-pod which had been shifted into her belongings belonged to Kathy. We made it to the gate with a fairly comfortable 20 minutes to spare before boarding started.

The plane that was to take us to Goa was stranded someplace else due to fog, but Jet Star found a replacement plane and we left only 10-15 minutes late.

It's been another day that we're surprised how tired we are. India is a challenging place to get around.


Unknown said...

Taegan and Melina say they're sorry that you need to buy a new wallet and that maybe you could buy a pretty one in India ;-/

Kim H said...

Awful! So sorry that happened.