The blog is not finished! But after the Theft (yes, capital letters), the want/need to update the blog took second fiddle to dealing with the Theft and just finishing the trip sans computer. Since being home, it's been hard to get that motivation to complete it. But I will. Ever so slowly. Please be patient!

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Theft

There’s something you should know about Australia. Regardless of the fact that it is a mecca for backpackers from around the world. Regardless of the fact that the country seems to cater to this particular segment of the tourism industry with hostel chains, backpacker packages on buses, and deals galore, the country is still taking financial advantage of us.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the country. The people are great, the men are hot, and the accents are to die for. And while I know that in the end, it came down to a slight lapse of judgment on my part, I’m still putting a lot of the blame for putting me in that situation on Australia’s blatant gauging.

Because if you’re a backpacker, on a tight budget, paying $30+ for a dorm room bed, and the hostel is still charging $10+ for a couple hours of internet, what would you do?

But before all that, I had to recover from the free booze that was rampant at Steve’s birthday party. So how does one recover? By going to Melbourne’s Pride Parade. Unfortunately for me, I just missed the parade portion due to laziness and catching the wrong tram. By the time I had gotten to the St.Kilda area, the party had moved into a large park beside the beach.

The weather wasn’t cooperating that day though. The wind was howling(which was actually quite amusing as the drag queens’ hair wouldn’t stay on their heads while they performed, and it would pour rain at random intervals. The whole thing was more like Saskatoon’s Pride Festival than Amsterdam’s. Very much a small community event. It could’ve been that the weather kept people away though.

As is often the case though, by the time I got back to the hostel the sun had come out and the weather had improved greatly. It was fine by me though as I had reconnected with the hottie from Cambodia, Sasha. He was, coincidentally, at a pub not too far from the hostel so I went and visited with him for a few hours over a pint or two of beer.

The next day, after transferring the photos from my camera’s memory card to the computer, I took said computer in my backpack to the nearby McDonald’s to save some money on Wi-Fi.

When I was finished with what I wanted to do, I placed the bag between my chair and the wall. I ate a little and read the newspaper when I got a text from a friend that he wanted to meet for coffee. I got up, left the Macca’s(McDonald’s in Aussie slang) and caught the tram that just happened to show up at that very moment.

It took five minutes for me to suddenly realize that I didn’t have my bag with me. I panicked, not surprisingly, and leaped off the tram. I ran the ten or so blocks back to the McDonald’s in a mad rush. I rushed in and saw my bag behind the counter. They handed it to me and my heart sank. The laptop case was gone from inside. And it was then that I remembered, I had placed my passport into the laptop case the day before.

I couldn’t believe that this had happened. Over a year of traveling, and many other times I’ve screwed up, but never this badly. The staff at the McDonald’s immediately sprung into action, getting the manager to line up the security footage while telling me to head over to the police station right beside them to report the theft.

As I was filing the report, I could tell from the look on the officer’s eyes, Const. Jason Smith, that he didn’t really see much in the way of victory in recovering the laptop, especially when I didn’t know the serial number of the laptop by memory. When I mentioned that the staff were already getting the tapes ready, the Constable said he would go over there soon to look at them. I took that to mean that day so I spent the rest of the afternoon sitting outside the McDonald’s waiting. And waiting.

Eventually I gave up and went back to the hostel. I had made plans back on Saturday to go see Steve play a hockey game with his summer league and, while not feeling all that happy, I still wanted to go.

Go Braves Go!!!

The game was awesome to watch. I’m not normally a huge hockey fan, though going to a game live is much more enjoyable than watching it on TV. As well, it was something I haven’t seen in a long while so it helped get my mind off things. Of course, Steve’s team won. There really wasn’t any doubt that that would be the outcome. At least in my mind.

Where the Braves Play.

When the game was over, Steve took me on a bit of a mini tour of downtown Melbourne including the huge casino downtown and the nightly fire show that occurs on the river boardwalk in front of said casino/mall/hotel complex.

So although the day began pretty shitty, it at least went out with a bang. Unfortunate for me, this theft was going to dominate the next little while of my trip.

1 comment:

  1. Oh no! The (our) beloved "Asus" netbook - GONE! Soooo sorry to hear it, Corey. g-knows when we're on the trail, it's so easy/only human to let our guard down for just a moment...

    And your precious passport too??!! Supreme ACK! Sadly, replacement won't come cheap. ;(

    That said, "$30+ for a dorm..."? Goodness but that's spendy. I'm surprised you're not couchsurfing, yes?