Diss-Claimer. (Yes, Dis with another "S." And as for those who actually followed the first time, I apologize LOL:)
(Back by popular demand for the great grammarians who frequent this site: This is the Re-Mix!)
It could start with "you never think it can happen to you," or "just when you thought it was safe." But why go out that way or for that matter come in that way, it's as cliche as an American tourist getting yapped for his belongings on a trip to foreign country.
(I didn't think it would happen to me.)
Rewind. (That means go back, to a particular point in this story.)
A red-headed graduate student who couldn't be more American if she was Betsy Ross' daughter's daughter's daughter's daughter, was sitting there talking to me. More aptly talking at me, more specifically, not shutting up. "Uh-huh, yeah, damn that's messed up," is all this blogger could manage to retort.
(I'm "this blogger," by the way.)
She talked about her work in psychology and feigned embarrasment went I pointed out that she had on flip-flops that said "Harvard," and a key chain necklace that said, guess what, "Harvard." Oh yeah and someone had, the night before, broke into the Hostel at which I just arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica. They took her passport. And there she was, talking my head off, killing time on her way to Vietnam via South Dakota.
I said to myself "that's pretty crazy." When I say crazy, I mean the passport being stolen story as well, but the girl, certainly. I'm glad nothing remotely resembling that is going to happen to me, I'm a globtrotter, a world traveler a...
(I empathized with the zany Harvard girl's anecdote but felt impervious to theft of any kind.)
Fast-Forward. (That means jump ahead to the next day)
The lame conference on Commodities and Chinese relations with Latin American governments and the state-owned mines they own is sadly at an end.
(I was actually in Costa Rica on business, before I tacked on a vacation jaunt at the end of the trip.)
Now I'm headed to Jaco Beach on one of the most beautiful Fridays in recent memory. I am enjoying a ride to the Pacific Coast of this lovely, quaint, currency 500/1 - completely-backed-by-American-military-country. The bus to Jaco pulls up for boarding and people rush to put their luggage in the hull of the monstorous municpal bus that looks more like a tour bus.
Ahh, no way I'm putting my bags down there, sheeeeeeeeet, not me. Savvy yank that guy is right? So what do I do? I get on, speak a little Spanish, I'm in my zone, I'm getting ready for four straight days of God-knows-what-tropica-lfun and what do I do? I pull out my digital camera like a dummy tourist from middle America. You know, the quintessential one who asks, "do they serve tacos in Costa Rica?" Yeah that kind.
(I thought I was being careful and travel savvy but alas, my activities as a giddy oblivious tourist would do my belongings in.)
I start taking self portraits as the bus pulls off, feeling my self, fun for pennies on the dollar, oh yeah. My black samsonite leather computer bag is on the top shelf above where I'm sitting, phone, laptop, all the power cords and a DVD from blockbuster enclosed. I might as well have been a Harvard girl.
Fast-Forward. (That means we're skipping ahead about an hour or so.)
We're only 20 clicks (That's 20 kilometers for those not familiar with the metric system or U.S. Army and Marine lingo.) from Jaco Beach, just 20 clicks from wireless, phoneless freedom via the wireless connection on a month-old Dell fresh off the assembly line that I would hope to utilize in the sea-side condo I was headed to.
But, while I was looking out the window musing at the greenest hills I've ever seen in my life and the mango trees with ripe, juicy products hanging like sweaty jugs - of fruit juice you pervs - it must have jumped off, something slick, James Bondish. I'm talking Michael Jackson smooth criminal. I should have known what was up 45 minutes into the trip when I couldn't see the strap from my bag anymore, but it didn't register.
(Whilst I admired the scenery, the thief or theives were very methodical and moved with stealth as they lifted, snatched or removed my bag from the top shelf. Yes I said "Whilst.")
We stop, I look up on the shelf. Panic. Awwww they got me. First step, anger, broken, cuss-laden Spanish, black English; a real estate agent from South Carolina with the same "damn that's messed up," look on his face that I had for the Harvard girl the night before.
(The American real estate agent, who was also on the bus, emphathized with my story but was glad it wasn't him.)
Gone. (My stuff, in case it's unclear, was no longer there.)