Picking Pockets

Santa Margherita Ligure Train Station, photo (c) Likeiitiz

Santa Margherita Ligure Train Station, photo (c) Likeitiz

Our wallet was stolen when we were on our way back from Santa Margherita Ligure.  We had taken the regional train from Monterosso al Mare that morning on the first of September. We had been curious to see what the hype was all about with Portofino.

It had rained by early afternoon.  We were tired, wet, and we hopped onto the train for our return to our “home base” at B&B Il Parco, which was up a small hill in Monterosso al Mare.

The last time my hubby could remember accessing his wallet was to pay for our return ticket at the kiosk. He recalls placing the wallet inside his shoulder pouch, which he always wears in front of him across his chest.  Then we made our way to one of the digital screens to find our platform.

Inside the Regional Trains, Italy, Photo (c) Likeitiz

Inside the Regional Trains, Italy, Photo (c) Likeitiz

I remember trying my best not to nod off. But the air conditioning inside the train, the repetitive hum and rocking through the ride must have lulled us to even the briefest of naps.  I remember getting up from my chair and edging to the door in anticipation of our stop.  We stood just beyond the doors waiting for the train to slow and then come to a halt. There were more travelers waiting to get in.  We disembarked uneventfully. Or so we thought.

Were we distracted at seeing youth groups boarding the train from Monterosso? There were these men running back and forth as if they were coordinating travelers to and from the different train cars? Were they working as a team to provide the needed distraction? They must be slick. Hubby’s shoulder pack was still draped in front of his chest. I was walking beside him. Did they pass between us? I don’t remember.

It was not until we wanted to grab something to eat at the old part of  town when my hubby noticed his wallet was gone. The zipper on his shoulder pouch was halfway open.  I saw the panic in his eyes. We hurriedly walked through the town and up the hill to our B&B.

My wallet Content

My wallet Content (Photo credit: Nitzan Brumer)

We quickly went into our room and opened the room safe. He only had one of his credit cards in that wallet. Not a lot of cash. His driver’s license and medical license were in it though. We quickly called the credit card company to report the lost card.  We recounted what we had charged in the last two days with the customer service. The rest will have to wait until we return home.

Why do people pick pockets? Is it a titillating thrill aside from the need for quick cash? The one upmanship? The “I did a number on you, you lucky travelers who can afford to vacation and I can’t?”


Pickpockets (Photo credit: Xurxo Martínez)

It’s not so much the money nor the credit card. We had left most of our cash in the room safe. But it was more the sense of being violated that stung and hung over us through the rest of the evening.

We kept playing the events in our minds and all through dinner, between the last time he opened the shoulder pouch until we discovered the lost wallet. Yes, the outer pocket had been partially unzipped.  Could he have left the pocket slightly unzipped? Could the wallet have fallen off the bag accidentally when we were on the train? Could it have been our own lapse from the usual extra-careful measures or did we let our guard down even for a few minutes? Why do we take comfort in the possibility that it may just be our own carelessness rather than someone else’s elaborate scheming? It doesn’t remedy the loss. The wallet is still gone forever. Is it because we want to believe that the world is really a lot safer than they say? That people are really good, kind, honest, and honorable for the most part?

That was about three weeks ago.  The other day, while we were walking on the Reservoir near Half Moon Bay, my hubby mentioned the lost wallet again.  He told me that he’s still hoping someone will find the wallet, see his driver’s license and find a way to contact him somehow. Perhaps through social media or something.  He’d offer to pay for mailing even just his driver’s license, even after he had applied for a replacement at DMV already. Just the thought that someone out there would be moved to do the right thing made him hopeful.

Would it restore our faith in people?

Or, are we just being naive about it?

This entry was posted in Cinque Terre, Italy, Monterosso al Mare, pick pockets, Theft, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Picking Pockets

  1. eof737 says:

    Terribly sorry… It is such a violation and like you, I just don’t get the sense of it… It makes vacationing a tad more stressful.


  2. Sorry to hear about your husband. I understand the feeling of someone stealing something you valued, something that is personal or simply the fact that someone can take another person’s belongings without remorse. It is hard to trust again once we become victims but then everyday, we also see goodness, generosity in others and that, couple with our faith makes it easier to forgive. God bless you and your family.


  3. munchow says:

    Unfortunately there will always be people out there taking advantage of other people in one way or another. They do it for all kinds of reasons, because it’s easy, because their are dishonest, because of opportunity, because they are criminals and for some out of despair. No matter the reason, though, there is not excuse. Theft is a violation of other human beings. Like you say, it’s not so much about losing some money or credit card or drivers licence, but it’s the traumatic feeling it leaves behind. I am sorry you had to experience this. Basically I believe people are honest and the world is a safe place (most places at least), but unfortunately some people take advantage of this. Beside this bad experience, I hope you were able to enjoy Cinque Terre, it’s such a magic place.


  4. Lucid Gypsy says:

    How wicked some people are.


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