Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Lesson Learned

On Saturday, my purse was stolen. It was my fault. I looped it around the handle of the shopping cart at the grocery store. I was very conscious about not letting go of the handles or walking away from the cart. I thought I was careful, but obviously not careful enough. I shopped for at least 20 minutes and didn't realize the purse was gone until I was in the checkout line. I was alone and not at the store near our apartment. I couldn't remember Erik's phone number so for a while I was stranded. I filed a report with the store and mall (grocery store is in a big mall) and then had to go to the police station to file an official report. The detective said that particular grocery store and mall (very upscale) are popular places for thieves, especially those praying on westerners.

Thankfully, there were no charges on any of the cards, nor any money withdrawn from the two ATM accounts. I only had about $30 cash. The tough thing was that since we cancelled all our cards, we had no way of obtaining money. (Note: it is good for spouses to have separate credit cards/accounts in case this happens.) We were forced to withdraw a small amount of money off of Erik's corporate card. On Monday morning, we went to our Hong Kong bank and were able to access our money in that account. We don't have very much money in our HK account, just enough to keep it open, so we had to wire money from the US. We do not have a HK credit card, because being foreigners, we need about $25,000 in our account before they will give us a card. (Chinese are anti-credit and most things, including cars, are paid in cash.) It will be awhile until we receive our new US credit cards.

What sucks is that I lost two cell phones (one was Gore's) and now have no way to be in contact with people. I plan to go get a new phone this week as soon as our wired money comes. Also in the bag was my Hong Kong Identity Card which is similar to a US driver's license. I have to pay ~$50 to replace it, plus a trip to Immigration. I did lose my US driver's license too. I pray the DMV will send me a duplicate in the mail, but I am skeptical. This is a problem if I come to the US and want to rent a car. Fortunately, my passport was at home.

Lastly, we have to have our locks changed on the apartment. I don't think anything in my purse had my exact address on it, and the security in our building is very tight, but for peace of mind, I want them changed. Also, I had the only copy of our mailbox key, so we have to change that lock to access our mail. The locks will be changed this week.

All-in-all, it could have been so much worse, and now I have learned my lesson--Hong Kong is a safe city, but not without crime.


Kelly said...


Anonymous said...

OMG! That must have been scarey! I am glad you were able to figure most of it out!!!!
That is terrible, really can't trust anyone!
What a hassle!

Kelly said...

aim, email me-i need to know how to send a holiday card to you...

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear this.