Friday, September 14, 2007

I Lost My Wallet

A few days ago, I "lost" my wallet. I use these quotation marks, because it is gone, and I don’t know where/why. Robert and Lisa and I had lunch in Piazza di Santa Croce. I paid for my lunch at that time, and walked back to the apartment, because I had to make some phone calls. Robert and Lisa were out and about and we had scheduled a time to meet in the Piazza della Republica.

I finished my calls, and headed out to meet them, taking a usual path into the city center. The streets I take are not too crowded, but not deserted. I walked easily along, but with purpose, not stopping or lingering anywhere. It was around 5:30 p.m. and the sun was setting, so at one point, I unzipped my purse and blindly dug around for my sunglasses, snagged them, put them on, and zipped up again.....all while continuing to walk, with the sun glaring in my eyes. Maybe the wallet dropped out at this point.?.

I found Lisa and Robert on the Piazza and we chatted briefly and then headed up to the top of the Rinescente where we shared a bottle of wine, overlooked the piazza and chatting. When we were ready to go, I couldn’t find my wallet.

We came back to the apartment to see if I had "left" it here, but I knew that I had not. We also went back to the lunchtime restaurant just to make sure it wasn't there. No luck.

I had one credit card, my bank card, driver’s license, 15 euro and 2 photos of my sons. I called the credit card company and they were so efficient and professional indicating they would send another card out over night (that didn’t happen). The bank of course, as banks are, was more difficult. They wouldn’t send it to my Italy address without changing my address in the system. The address change would take 30 days and the card another 7-10 after that to reissue. If they mailed it to my US address which is on the account, it would take 7-10 days. I was able to "expedite" it for a fee of $25, and now it will be mailed to my US address in 3-5 days! What a wonderful customer service experience.

From that point, my mother will have to send it to me. Thankfully, Robert and Lisa were able to provide me with some cash, and everything should be fine.....depending on how long it takes to get the card, and what happens in the meantime.

I am sitting in my apartment today, waiting for the credit card to be delivered (between 9-5) by UPS. I have other credit cards, so that is not a primary concern. Thankfully, I only carry one with me, and keep the others tucked away in my apartment, for this very reason! I can also get a cash advance if necessary at an exorbitant interest rate on my credit cards, should I have some type of "cash" emergency.

I suppose the wallet could have been "picked" out of my pocket. It doesn’t make a difference, it’s gone, and there are inconveniences to deal with.

Yesterday evening, while Lisa and Robert and I were having a glass of wine at an enoteca, a group of 3 ladies sitting on the terrace on the street, got ready to leave, and her entire purse was gone! The terrace had a wrought iron fence circling it, but apparently a thief had stuck their hand through and snatched the purse! I could really sympathize with her. Unfortunately, it didn’t sound like she was so lucky, as she had her passport in there as well!

Moral of the story: Be a smart traveler! Don’t carry too much cash or important things in your
wallet. Separate credit cards, leave your passport in the hotel safe, keep your purse close to your side!

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