A scary moment
This story is a reminder of why it is always important to keep your guard up when in an unfamiliar place. Your trip can quickly take a turn for the worse. This scary moment happened a couple years back in Rome, Italy.
I was studying abroad in Rome and had just finished a fun day out with friends. Myself and a friend had just been out to visit the Colosseum and Palatine Hill. It was a fun day exploring. We agreed to head home to meet up with some others and figure out dinner. Heading down into the metro station near the Colosseum we boarded our train.
Shortly after stepping into the train and finding a spot to stand we began to talk. It was mostly about what we’d seen that day and what we should make/get for dinner. Right as the doors were closing we heard a scream then a cry and a woman began to frantically pound on the now closed train doors. Her young daughter was crying by her side. My friend and I quickly made our way over to her to see what had happened.
It turned out that a man had punched her little girl to distract her as he then grabbed her bags and darted through the now closing train doors. We couldn’t signal for the train to stop so as we headed for the next station we tried to calm her down enough to get some details from her. We asked if she was alright and how was her daughter. Then came the crucial part. Did she have her documents on her? She checked and quickly exclaimed that they were in her purse along with her phone and other personal items. As her purse was one of the bags stolen she would have to contact her embassy as well as the police.
Quickly exiting the train we made our way through the station and found a transit employee. He informed us that the police were not at this station and we would have to go to the next stop. We all got back on the train and headed to the next station. Running through the station only to find that the police desk there was closed for the day!
We got on yet another train and went to yet another station. There we hurried all the way to the police office and tried the door. It was locked! But as we could see the lights on inside I began to knock profusely. After several minutes a man opened the door in a pair of jeans and a T-shirt and quickly said “it’s locked for a reason, go away.” He then closed the door on me. I knocked hard again and he opened and asked what in the world did we want. When he heard that she had been robbed he allowed her in. Her only! Not even her daughter was allowed inside!! As a result me and my friend waited outside for about a half an hour watching her daughter.
Finally she came out having been allowed to file a police report to give to her embassy. She was able to get new credit cards shipped overnight to her hotel and an appointment for a new passport.
This ordeal though made me realize how alone you can be when something happens to you in a foreign country and how different the police responds!