The Greater San Fransisco Area

Continuing my quest to travel the world.

It has been my quest to cycle around the world for a very long time, although I have ticked off 16 countries to date, I still haven't achieved the ultimate goal of cycling the world. I cannot wait any longer for the conditions to be perfect, age is catching up with me, so it is now or never.

picture drawn by Jim my Step - Father on our trip across Australia

picture drawn by Jim my Step - Father on our trip across Australia
After our trip to Vietnam in 2012.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Bicycle and all my gear stolen.

After successfully obtaining our visas for Cambodia, we negotiated the rush hour traffic to get out of Ho Chi Minh city in the direction of the Cambodian border. After 30 kms we stopped for our first drink. It was a stall or as the call them in Vietnam a Cafe. We left our bikes leaning one on to of the other, with mine on the outside, on a low brick wall by the entrance, we sat no more than 2 meters from the bikes. A salesman on a bike tried to sell us some dried food which we didn't want, and when he was gone so was my bike. If the thief had ridden past the entrance on my bike I would have seen them, but they didn't, so I can only assume that someone local, saw that we were distracted by the salesman and took my bike being the one on the outside. It happened so fast that it was unbelievable.

After a quick search by Niel and the stunned cafe staff to no avail, they phoned the police for us. I got a ride on the back of the policeman's scooter to the police station, and with the help of an interpreter, who tried her best, but wasn't very good at English, wrote a report about what happened. after writing 4 reports - some translated into Vietnamese by the interpreter, I asked for a copy for our insurance claim. When Niel lost his bike earlier in the year, we realised we needed a copy to make a claim. They refused to give us a copy. Apparently it is against the law to give copies of police reports, We said that it was the law in New Zealand to have written evidence of lodging a report with the police. The police man made me write it all out again NOT on letterhead paper, but it needed his superiors signature. His Captain was in a meeting. 7 hours later, we had to give up waiting and go back to the hotel in a taxi. They said it would be ready to be picked up at 8.30 the next morning.

At 8.30 the Captain was still in a meeting and to phone back at 2pm. At 2pm he refused to sign as he didn't believe me, as it happened too fast. At 4pm he said he'd sign, So after one and a half million in taxi fares , and writing out my report yet again, translated yet again,it was finally signed.

The ploiceman, interpreter and I.

All this time no one is out looking for my bike. I am gutted as my bike has been to 7 countries with me, I really love my bike, and my gear means a lot to me. It is useless to any one else as it is mostly clothes, and camping equipment, my personal medications, and 2 pairs of shoes, and my walking stick - useful since my surgery. The only thing of any value was my camera. Luckily most of my photos had been down loaded onto the computer. My clothes were special to me as they were either brand new for the trip or collected over many years from overseas trips, some were birthday presents. They wouldn't fit anyone here as all Vietnamese people are tiny and my bra size is 18 double D - who is going to benefit from that. So really the thief as not benefited much at all and has devastated me, cut my trip in half, and put Vietnam in a bad light. Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore no longer get the benefit of our tourist dollar. So they loose out too. All for the benefit of what?

I would not recommend Vietnam to anyone now, and I can't wait to go home. This has also made me reevaluate whether I want to carry on travelling anymore.

No comments:

Post a Comment