This was the time I had my Nokia stolen from two older women. Oh! And to my own shock, this happened nearly TWICE!
Stick around because this is going to be a whole rollercoaster. Plus, mistakes were made and lessons were learned.
I’ll be giving you a travel story that happened in Vietnam and probably convince you to be aware of pickpocketing in international countries.
So grab your mug of coffee or tea and let’s get right into it!
Background Story (Notes)
- My family and I traveled to Vietnam in December 2011 to January 2012.
- I was age 12 (so pretty much in Grade 6-7).
- My mum bought me a Nokia phone during that time in Vietnam because I was begging for a phone since everyone has it and I was the only one that didn’t have it (I know. Spoiled!).
- It was a red Nokia 225.
So I was pretty siked on this new phone I have. It was my first phone ever! (That wasn’t borrowed from someone else). I would literally, carry this phone everywhere with me because well, it was precious to me.
My family, relatives and I were traveling to different markets far away from home to buy groceries that were not available near us.
We visited a huge market. It might have been called “E-Mart”(I don’t remember but it was like a 2 tier level) and it was pretty big in my eyes as a 12-year-old.
Once we went in, my cousins, my brother and I were all running away, chasing and laughing (like what children do) but apparently, our aunt won’t let us do that so we had to be mature.
We looked at markets and groceries and compared it to what we had in Australia. It was time to go up the escalated to floor 2, which was the fashion level where all the clothes were bought.
Here’s what went wrong…
Now, I was a pretty dumb kid back then and thought that I was “mature” enough to take care of my own things. Well, you guessed it, I was wrong on so many levels.
We were supposed to go to the front desk where they can store valuable items like your purse and bag etc in a small or medium basket, which can be stored away in lockers and you had to keep the key with you.
My mum and aunt were urging me to put my phone in the basket along with my brother’s phone and relatives and I was shaking my head, saying that “I can take care of it.”. I kept my phone in my right pocket while keeping my hand held onto the phone. So, my mum and aunt gave up and was like “you better take care of it and not lose it.”
12-Year-old me were hanging out with my brother and cousins and chasing around the store nearby, with my other uncle and older cousin keeping an eye on us. I somehow got lost in all these isles with clothes hangers etc. and was walking around trying to look for my mum. I even nearly cried.
The Two Women…
As stupid as I was back then, I smiled and politely said thank you, bend down and tried them on, taking my right hand out of my right pocket.
The second woman, however, was on my right side and tried to “sneakily” grab my phone out of my pocket. I quickly stood up and looked at the second woman along with my phone hanging out of my pocket, quickly grabbed my phone and put it back in my pocket. The two women quickly apologised and hurriedly went off to a different direction, sneaking a quick look at me.
Somehow, I wasn’t terrified, because I was never taught about being kidnapped but I was somehow warned by my mum and aunt that there were thieves.
I found my mum looking at a rack of clothes, ran up to her and hugged her. She looked at me confused and asked me where I was as I replied with “at the shoe area”. Now, again, a few minutes past and I was tired as my feet were starting to hurt so I crouched down.
As I was crouching near my mum, I saw these two women from before, who were looking at me again and I looked right back at them. I shrugged them off and was thinking “as long as I’m with my mum, I’m safe right?” I was totally wrong on that.
And guess what?
It was time to go home when I was looking through my pockets from my jacket to my jeans, looking for that phone. My aunt and mum was looking at me confused and asked me what was wrong.
Why do I look shocked?
Well… After that, we were going around searching for if I dropped my phone or not and asking the women at the front desk if they had seen a red Nokia phone anywhere. That’s when I told them about the two women.
I got punished and my mum never bought me a new phone until the next time I went back to Vietnam in 2012. It was devastating, however, I deserved it for not listening to my mum and aunt.
So when you go traveling, make sure you’re aware of pickpocketers in different locations. Do ya research!
Anyways, what about you? Have you heard any stories about being pickpocketed or have you got pickpocketed yourself?
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