Wait a minute! how did I get robbed on my very 1st international travel? Before we dive into this article, take 3 minutes to read my other post on my first travel experience http://mygatehub.com/2019/04/24/african-girl-1st-travel-experience/ .
So I got robbed when I traveled to Dubai, so many lessons learnt from that trip till date. Like they say “Time waits for no one” but the memories we create reminds us of how we spent our time.
Wondering how this all happened, well grab your popcorn, sit tight and let the gist begin.
Dubai is a beautiful tourists destination, traveling to this city was my intro to international travel when I started out in this “life of travel” in the early 2000. As a newbie, I had no experience as you can imagine, not just that, I had an unrealistic budget. I flew on Qatar airways, very cheap ticket as they just launched their maiden flight operations in Nigeria.
On a low budget and determined to travel, I was left with the option of peer-to-peer sharing on accommodation, which is always available in Dubai. I also had to share taxi rides, it was a win-win up until that very sad day. My girlfriend and I both agreed to share a room in one of those hostels with two beds, later we moved to 3 beds to reduce cost further. That was a great idea, considering we were two young ladies ready to have fun and save more money for shopping.
Where we got it wrong was pairing with a total stranger, but who would have thought we would get robbed!
At the thought to save extra for shopping, we both “threw caution to the wind“. We moved to the hostel, somewhere in Deira, close to Gold souk. Just as we finished check-in, we hurried into Gold souk and started shopping for jewelries. On return to our room, we meant the 3rd roommate, she was older, different race and we could not find a common language to speak. You guess right, we couldn’t communicate with her other than hand gesture, pretty awkward.
We kept showing off our purchased items every time we returned from shopping, even the gold jewelry we bought and she was there the whole time. On one particular night, when I woke up to use the bathroom, I caught her starring at me in the dark, that was really creepy. We still didn’t get concerned of our safety, what if she was a serial killer,Omg! the risks young people take.
On that very day, one lovely hot afternoon, we dashed off to shop leaving our belongings out of our suitcases. We spent hours shopping, having fun exploring, on return to our room, we meant the door unlocked. We initially thought we forgot to lock the room, so we rushed immediately to our purchased items, viola! they were all gone.
A report was made immediately at the front desk of the hotel, we called our travel agent, who quickly came over to assist us. The lady thief checked out immediately after she robbed us, hotel record showed she left 30 minutes to our return, near miss! She made away with several jewelries and other valuable items we excitedly purchased.
We called the police and had to go with them to the police station to file a report, robbery and crime in general is not tolerated in Dubai.
We got to the police station, in fact my friend and I rode in the police car, that ride made us panic. That was my first time from birth visiting a police station, and to crown it all in a foreign destination. We speak English language fluently but those guys don’t speak English that much, hey! language is a barrier, all we had to do was try the best we can watching body language to understand what was done on our case.
To shorten this story, the hotel manager agreed to pay for the stolen items in order to get his hotel out of the police station. Yeah! we did get some compensation from the hotel. The lady thief was red flagged in the system
Counting my lessons:
No matter how attractive the ticket cost is, never jump on travel plans without a reasonable budget.
Peer-to-peer accommodation is a great idea to reduce cost with good company, however do this only with people you know and trust.
Always make use of the safe provided by hotels to store valuable items safely.