I hate it when stereotypes comes true. I take considerable pains to avoid pigeon-holing people with my pre-conceived notions. And yet there I was in Germany living a stereotypical moment. The friendly, naive, over-trusting Canadians got robbed at a hostel.
My friend and I were visting Berlin for just under a week and decided to stay at a hostel to be cost-effective. After a recent experience in a French hostel, I had my reservations but years of success in Canadian hostels and the siren call of 18 Euro a night won me over. It turned out that the hostel was pretty, clean, quiet – relatively speaking. Unfortunately, as we had stayed in B&Bs and hotels recently, we forgot the cardinal rule of hosteling – never, ever bring anything with you that you wouldn’t mind losing. I had brought my ipod touch to listen to music on the plane and my friend had brought her ipad as an internet source, but we were fools. The morning it happened we left our luggage locked in a wooden locker and considered it safe. When we got back about 12 hours later, we discovered our electronics had been stolen. Someone who had been sharing our room apparently pulled the back off several lockers and took what he could find. He also got 700 Euros from another
trusting foolish Canadian.
More so than the loss of my ipod I was upset because I knew he had gone through our stuff. I felt uneasy that he had been sleeping in our room and violated that he had rummaged through our bags. I felt lucky that he had only taken our electronics. We are lucky that we weren’t harmed in any real way and I hope that I have learned my lesson. I made a rookie mistake by bringing a valuable possession when travelling.
I suppose getting robbed is a rite of passage for any traveller. I guess I think that if you are going to see the world you run the risk of losing some possessions I want to be less attached to my stuff anyways and I would take the experience of seeing a new city over an ipod any day. It isn’t about not trusting people, it is about being smart and taking precautions. I suppose this is a lesson learned the hard way. Never bring anything of value with you when you travel. And if you absolutely must then never ever let it out of your sight. I know these rules. I live by these rules. I broke these rules and I got robbed.
Today I say yes to learning from my mistakes. Yes to learning to live with less. And yes to the risk and reward of travelling the world.
The fishermen know the sea is dangerous and the storm is terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for staying ashore.