Temporary help wanted: GA on R&R

guardianangel

Sophia, my guardian angel, has been busy. Very busy. Like way too busy.

I think she’s ready to quit.

Can guardian angels quit? I hope not…

AGMA’s back! I really wanted to post something is weekend but it didn’t happen. It’s been a rough re-entry between jet lag and prednisone-induced insomnia.

But what a trip… Wow!

I normally don’t blog much about my travels, but this trip may be the exception. So many “interesting” things happened. A bit too interesting.

Our first stop was Barcelona. What a beautiful city. Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia – oh my – I don’t think I’ve ever said “Wow!” so much.  And the food and wine was yumbley.

But we spent the first 24 hours without our luggage. It decided to stay in Atlanta for an extra day. There is wisdom in packing an extra set of clothes and some basic toiletries in your backpack Grasshopper…

It was in our hotel room when we came in from sightseeing the next day. Miraculous!

Sophia was on duty.

And it wasn’t long before she was busy again.

Aside from it’s beauty and culture and beaches, Barcelona is notorious for it’s thieves and pickpockets.

Yup.

That second evening, we went on a tapas crawl booked through a local tour company. There were like 35 of us and we visited three tapas bars in different parts of the city. It was fun, but then it got “interesting.”

We struck up a conversation with a lovely young, honeymooning couple from Australia and ended up hanging out with them for most of the evening. Very fortuitous. Sophia’s doing I’m guessing.

Normally, I am very vigilant about my purse and wear it over my head across my body. It’s a special cut-proof travel purse with all kinds of latches and locks that I ordered online. However, all that is kind of worthless if the whole purse goes missing.

Yup.

At the second tapas bar we visited, in a moment of jet lagged, prednisone-induced insomnia fog, I set my purse down on the floor beside my chair. On the wrong side. Easy pickin’s for a couple of pros.

Two women walked by and bumped my chair. At that instant, Sophia stuck a pin in my rear and I shot to attention. I looked down at the now empty spot that my purse had recently occupied. AGMA knew immediately what happened.

The fog was gone, replaced by a huge shot of adrenaline. For Pete’s sake, it was only the second day of our trip…

“My purse! Those women took my purse!”

AGMA was wearing as skirt and flats. I’m a marathon runner, but I can do a decent sprint if I have to. Especially amped up on adrenaline.

I went flying out of the restaurant and down the block after them. I had no plan – I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do when I caught them. They were cool operators; they were just strolling down the block. This was not their first rodeo.

“Excuse me, but I think you have my purse and I want it back.” Excuse me??  AGMA’s Emily Post was showing.

They both walked up to me and assured me in calm voices they didn’t have my purse. They even opened up their purses to let me look inside. Smooth…

In the meantime, Trent, our new Aussie friend, followed me out of the restaurant. I guess he thought I needed back-up. I did.

All I remember is saying over and over, “You took my purse and I want it back. You have my purse, please give it back.” AGMA’s nothing if not exceedingly polite.

They were soooo concerned that I was soooo upset. They wanted me to go back into the restaurant to calm down. Sure they did.

Nah baby nah.

So while I was talking to them and keeping them occupied, Trent decided to do a little looking around. He went behind a parked car and, lo and behold, came walking back with…

MY PURSE!!!

At that point, the two women shrugged like “Oh wow – look what he found!”, turned and walked quickly away.  I shook my finger at them and said loudly, “You should be ashamed!”

Seriously? How incredibly lame. At that point AGMA had earned the right to drop numerous F bombs and do a variety of obscene hand gestures transcending any and all language barriers. But I just felt incredible relief…

A quick check back in the restaurant showed all contents present and intact. Whew.

If it wasn’t for Sophia giving me a kick in the butt activating my Spidey senses, it could have been a devastating evening and really ruined our trip. Very much a First World problem I realize, but I’m still incredibly thankful I didn’t have to deal with all the issues around a stolen purse.

Whew.

And this was just the second day of our trip.

Stay tuned for the further adventures of AGMA and Sophia in Europe…

P.S. It’s great to be back!!

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24 thoughts on “Temporary help wanted: GA on R&R

    • It was more like desperation! My passport was in the safe at the hotel (thank goodness!), but all my credit cards and other ID and a copy of my passport and phone was in it. No way was I going to start my trip off losing those. I’m pretty sure Trent came out to make sure they didn’t beat me up… Clearly he didn’t know what damage an angry AGMA can do! 🙂

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  1. Glad you managed to get your purse back! Something similar happened to me in Paris years ago. When I was getting out of the metro, someone grabbed my wallet out of my purse, and without any reservation, I went after the man I thought was the culprit. I yelled at him in French and demanded my wallet back. Unfortunately, I wasn’t lucky enough to get it back.

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    • Oh – I’m so sorry! What a pain. ;-(

      I can’t believe I let my guard down like that – I’m normally very vigilant. The full dose of prednisone I was taking at the time kind of kicked my butt and made me a bit loopy. More than normal that is… And my critical decision making abilities were very suspect. I pretty much handed over my passport to him for safekeeping the rest of the trip.

      So glad I got my purse back, but I was ultra, uber paranoid for the rest of the trip (like sort of getting mild anxiety attacks when there were lots of people around.) It was weird. But I came back with all my stuff so it’s all good!

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    • I carry like half of my suitcase contents in my purse so zippy pockets wouldn’t cut it. Water bottle, camera, sunglasses, wallet, phone… I know – way too much stuff! Normally, I have my purse plastered at my side. In all the trips I’ve taken, I’ve never had an issue until I did this very stupid thing. Totally my fault. Lesson never to be forgotten!! Sophia needs a rest… ZZZzzzzz….

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  2. Oh, dear, I don’t know how I would have handled that. I’m sure my language would have not been prim and proper! Glad you got it intact!

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  3. I bet Sophia spends a lot of her off hours in that pose. In your place, I’d be careful. I can just see Sophia going the the boss and saying, “Please, can we just put her in a comma for a couple of weeks so I can have a vacation.”

    And I suspect Tent is really an angle thinking about becoming a guardian angle and this was a kind of “ride along” program. Sophia probably said something like, “You want to be a guardian angle. Fine follow me on this one for a couple of days and we’ll see if you stick around.”

    Congratulations on getting your purse back. My wife had her wallet stolen in London and we never got it back.

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    • Kind of like Clarence in It’s A Wonderful Life!! He had to earn his wings! “Every time a bell rings, an angle get’s his wings.” I’m just so grateful he was there to look after me whatever his motivation!

      A friend of mine posted this awesome angel meme I used on my post on my Facebook page after I related my harrowing story. As soon as I saw it I thought, “That’s her alright!” I’ve been keeping it on the down low since I’ve gotten home so she won’t have to zap me to keep me quiet.

      But I’m getting antsy…. Real antsy… 🙂

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    • Absolutely plastered! Like uber-paranoid plastered. I even handed over my passport to Hubs for safe keeping I was so freaked out.

      And it’s kind of continued since I got home. I’m always very aware of where my purse is and I am worrying about it a lot more which isn’t like me. Hopefully I’ll settle down…

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  4. I’m sure this could also happen in the good old USA, too, but it sure would make me think twice if I ever considered foreign travel, other than Canada, again. I also think it’s possible that Sophia guards more travelers than just you and, since I’m sure you had never had to use her services before, she was ready to work overtime for you on this trip, where it appears she was more than gainfully employed and possibly on overtime!

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    • Oh – please don’t let my senior moment with my purse scare you away from traveling. I’m every bit as careful with my purse here in Atlanta and when I visit my son in Chicago. You are right – it can happen anywhere.

      I’m pretty sure that Sophia was relieved of all of her other GA duties when we left for our trip knowing that we were going to be a handful. We did not disappoint! Ha!

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    • Thanks!! I’m not sure my heart ever pounded so hard as when I was trying to talk the thieves out of my purse. It felt like it was going to pop through my chest – yikes! It took quite a while for it to settle down – I guess it takes a spell for the adrenaline shot to wear off! Ha!

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      • It was lucky you were so aware. I had a similar thing happen at a movie theatre. Kids snuck under my chair and stole my bag. Never got it back. Now, I hand hubby my bag when we sit down for movies, going out for drinks and dinners. He’s very tolerant. 🙂

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