london: nice city – crap people

my wallet was stolen on portobello road. wait. did i just hear somebody say “join the club”? yeah well, of course it is true. i should have avoided portobello road like the pest, especially on a saturday. but hey, rough trade is a great record store. still. and across the street books for cooks is always worth a visit. and then up the street at cafe oporto they serve a wicked galau [milk coffee portugese style] and those delicious cream tart thingsies that are teh bestest. galau-way is where we were heading when f. told me, “you are gonna get your stuff stolen with that bag of yours wide open like that”. true, the only problem was that at that point my wallet had already been stolen and the pickpocket had simply not bothered to rezip the bag…

having said that, the pickpocket was a master of his trade. i gotta give him [or her] that. him or her because we never saw who did it. pickpocket person opened zipper of bag, grabbed wallet and moseyed away in quiet jubilation without ever being seen.

the £60.- were of course a bummer to lose, especially on a trip to london where everything is … errr – searching for a word to qualify here – nuts expensive. but the real hassle was dealing with all the cardsies afterwards. thats when things became REALLY annoying and almost cynical. for instance, here’s cynical for you: they charge a fee to block an ec bankcard in switzerland. creditcard no problem, but the maestro-card costs money to get blocked! i am controlling myself real hard here not to repeat this a third time. because i still can’t believe it. oh and another thing, the replacement creditcard will be in my mailbox on monday, while i have to reapply for a bankcard.
well, it’s quite simple really, the ec bankcard/maestro-card will stay at home in the future. they won’t see my business from foreign trips any longer.

but of course my [creditcard-sized] swiss id card [yeah the one i ordered a few weeks ago and that got in literally on the day before i left for linz] had also vanished along with my wallet into the throes of the london underworld. and as today sunday our flights home were scheduled i had to deal with propper identification and shit. so first i had to run to the police station down notting hill gate to get a police report. after a wait from hell with at least 15 snotty londoners trying to cut in front of the line, a police woman filled out a “property lost in streets” report. wait a minute, lost? how about fcuking stolen, ripped out of my bag, scammed away from me, d00d? the report started with a line saying “personal details of loser”. gee, thanx guys for calling me a loser…

oh wait, another cynical detail: on the wall of the police station there was a poster saying: “street crime: DOWN 15%”.
gosh, am i glad for that.

so next, i had to contact the swiss embassy to get some papers sorted for the trip home. in other words, there goes the afternoon. luckily i called there first to find out that on a saturday the embassy is not only closed but there is not even a message or an answering service available. very middle ages. so nothing i could do. i would have to take my chances with the flight.

after dashing out another £14.5 for the stansted express [the roundtrip ticket had also been in the wallet] check in went surprisingly well. easyJet allowed me to check in without documents. the friendly lady placed a huge green sticker saying “documents ok” on my boarding card.

however things got complicated again upon boarding the plane where the person collecting the ticketstubs asked me for my passport. she talked to me like i was a handicapped person or a child or otherwiese challenged, “giiiive! meeee! youuuur! paaaasssport!” i was tempted to ask her equally: “caaaan! youuuuu! reaaaad? it says “documents ok” right here on this huge! green! sticker!”. but i kinda behaved and had to now explain in front of a very interested crowd trying to enter the plane that my ID had been stolen and that the swiss embassy was closed on saturday etc.

oh wait, we are approaching bern now. so it all went well. tback in crap city – nice people. the adventure will continue before i have all my cardsies back. and a new wallet. including my favorite thing in there: the 500.- note in monopoly money.

About Jan Zuppinger

Jan Zuppinger has been writing this blog since 2002. He likes to grow vegetables. He likes to eat them too. He has opinions on everything, but sadly no one cares. Jan Zuppinger is not joking, just joking, he is joking, just joking, he's not joking. *click.