Friday, March 4, 2016

When the Thieves Strike

Theft is something we never expect will happen to us. We always expect it to happen to others, or we think that we're safe because it's in our house, or you just wouldn't imagine why in the world someone would steal from you....
Until it happens to you.
And then you still wonder why the hell did they pick me, of all people?

After living in a hostel for over two weeks, the majority of that week with only one other person, who was also looking for an apartment, three guys checked into our room. We were slightly annoyed for not having the whole room to ourselves like we had gotten used to, but also because those guys smelled like a dirty gym bag (this is really not an exaggeration) and had basically flooded the bathroom after their showers at midnight. We all went to bed and the next day, the both of us went to work as usual.
Broken lock from the inside
When we came back, my "roommate's" locker had been broken into, my things had very clearly been rummaged through and we noticed right away, some of our things were missing. I was panicking. My brand new polaroid camera, my GoPro, all my charging cables, my external harddrive with all my work (school, films, writing, everything), my running shoes and my backpack were gone. They took his iPad, his sweater and t-shirt as well.

While we waited for the police to come, I was repeating "I want to go home." "I give up." "I want to go home." "When is the next flight home?" over and over in my head, trying to fight back the tears and anxiety. I couldn't believe that someone would do something like that in a hostel, a place where the majority, if not all are backpackers, who trust each other, who believe that it's safe. I couldn't believe they literally broke the locker and stole our things.

It's a blessing I had my passport and money with me that day... Otherwise I'm sure that would have been gone too.

When the police came, they took pictures of the broken locker, and took pictures of mine, which they had tried to break into but failed (thank god, otherwise my laptop would have been gone too) and wrote down as much information as they could. All that was left for us to do was go to sleep and hope they catch them. The hostel had photocopies of the thieves' passports, and alerted all the hostels in the city in case they decided to try their luck somewhere else

I'm not expecting the police to get my stuff back. It has probably already been re-sold (though I have been obsessively scouring craigslist and ebay), but I do hope they'll catch them and maybe spare another poor traveller.

The worst part of all this? They took my running shoes. I can live without the technology, it sucks, but I'll survive. But my running shoes? That's a stab directly in the heart. I'm running a half-marathon in less than 2 months and it's not really something you can do without proper shoes. Running is all I have when I'm stressed or upset, and they took that away from me. With the exchange rate, the same pair of shoes cost over double what they would cost in Canada, and it's not exactly like I can afford to buy a new pair...

After talking on the phone with my mom, we figured out that she could send me my old pair, which isn't all that old anyway, so I could at least run the half marathon in a decent pair of shoes, and then figure out the rest later, while a friend of mine calmed me down and convinced me not to give up and stay in Berlin.

In the end, I'm pretty lucky. I still have my passport, which really is the most valuable thing I own right now, I wasn't hurt and I have amazing people around me to support me no matter what happens.

Berlin may have kicked my ass once again, but I'm going to fight back and not let it defeat me. I am stronger than that.

PS: I did the whole thing, going to the precinct, talking to the police, etc. in German, so clearly, my language skills are pretty darn good. :)

1 comment :

  1. There are few worse feelings in the world than realizing you've been burglarized. I had my car broken into when I was in college, and I just felt violated. The fact that they would steal running shoes shows they were probably just content to grab whatever they could. Just heartbreaking.

    Earl Mark @ Eastway Lock


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