One of the great thing about long term travel is that you get to share all the great experiences and adventures with everyone. However you also have to be honest with yourself and share the shitty things that happen as well. Today is all about one of those FUCK ME experiences.
Sitting in the La Paz bus terminal with a couple of Aussie travel friends we talked about how insane and crazy the bus station seemed to be. Serious sensory overload. We remembered it was Carnival weekend so it made sense. Usually in a situation like this, my spidey senses go into over drive and my experience tells me to stay alert. However after being on the road so long I had noticed I started getting a bit lazy and even joked about it with people along the way. Many people said the same thing, that they had picked up bad habits. Well my bad habits cost me.
Sitting in said terminal there was a huge commotion about 20 feet away, a couple guys screaming and shouting at each other real good. Good enough for us to look towards them and away from our packs for about 30 seconds tops. I should have noticed something was odd because the place was filled with tourist and transit police and they did nothing to stop these guys. Then as quick as it started they stopped and went their separate ways. A cold chill Deja Vu chill went down my spine. Many years ago while travelling Europe, I was sitting in a park near the Rome train station with my brother and and old friend Kent Chapman. We were drinking wine and killing time waiting for our train. Suddenly a guy appeared to our right and started talking to me. Then another guy started talking to Kent and Kevin, keeping out heads looking to the right. I suddenly had that feeling and looked back to see a guy walking away with Kevin's day pack. A quick yell and he dropped it and ran away. Now I had that same sick feeling again.
I turned my head and you guessed it, my day pack was gone, as were the packs of my buddies. You just get that sick feeling in you gut. First thought, ah man I made the freaking rookie mistake and had my passport in my day pack. What a pain in the ass that is going to be. We asked the cops if they say anyone or anything, nada and of course nobody in the entire train station saw anything. After a while our anger and angst turned to black humour as we literally applauded the pros who ripped us off. It was a well executed plan and worked to perfection, even on road veterans like us.
What was lost. Passport, Laptop, camera that I loved and my ipod, all replaceable. There are some pictures not backed up but lost pictures do not take away from the experience. I think I was more pissed off that they took the book I was reading, Moby Dick. I mean its not an easy read and I was plugging my way through it but now Ishmael will have to wait.
Well nothing we could do but get on the bus and head to Sucre for carnival, it was 8 00 pm and I could make my phone calls in the morning. Man I was more pissed of at being lazy and dumb then losing my stuff. This was still going to be a long over night bus ride.