How to Avoid Greek Gypsies and Thieves
Travel is about fun. But safety always rules the day. Imagine being the victim of Greek Gypsies, the ultimate pickpocket artist. AUGH! I was a victim and survived Gypsies in Greece. I hate to admit it. Despite my precautions, my blunder resulted in losing my Apple phone to a Gypsie street urchin. I learned several lessons, which are useful at home in the States. Beware of the gypsies or better yet beware of pickpockets!
Robbed by Greek Gypsies!!
I had a premonition before going to Greece that something terrible would happen. Maybe my worries and fears attracted the trouble. Fortunately, I wasn’t hurt. The pick-pocket decided my wallet was his, and the perfect person to rob was me. The thief stole my iPhone. The little creep is lucky my hand lost its grip. If he hadn’t squirmed away, my fight or flight reflex would deliver severe street justice, Jackie Chan style.
It’s about three o’clock in the afternoon. I’m whistling a tune, annoying as it is as I sing to myself. I’m walking to the Metro station, having just returned from Delphi, daydreaming. I pull out my phone from my backpack and moments later, not thinking, it’s in my front pocket.
I’m boarding the packed Metro. Inches from the train doors, I feel two people push me gently into the train. Immediately, something felt odd, because reaching for my left pocket, my phone was gone. When I ran my right hand behind me on my wallet, I felt fingers on the top of my pocket. I grabbed the strangers’ wrist, pulling hard, but the thief escaped. The thief exited the train doors and disappeared into the crowd.
These are the criminals who take things from tourists. Speaking to the receptionist at my hostel about the theft, she laughed. She said she was from Romania. The front desk lady smiled when she heard my story because she knows all too well about the Romanian gypsies. She told me not to feel bad because even the most discriminating travelers get robbed. In fact, if one travels enough, something eventually will happen. Be lucky and never get robbed. The experience gave me a clearer understanding of what not to do while in travel mode.
The hostel receptionist at the Student and Traveler’s Inn laughed when she saw my new cheap throwaway cell. Asking for her to show me how to use it, she smiled more. Too many years on a touch screen phone and my brain shut down trying to operate a push-button device.
THINGS TO REMEMBER ABOUT THIEVES
I like to go to YouTube and look at travel articles. Before leaving for Greece, I watched too many to count. I’m obsessive and worry more than I should. Keep valuables in a hotel safe while traveling in Greece.
My Safety Tips
Carry your backpack in front. After the theft, I noticed the zippers on my pack were partly open. The thieves tried to get into my bag, unsuccessfully. Avoid crowded trains and buses. Always sit on buses and trains. Standing is not the best option because the thieves are pushy, and use the crowds to their advantage. It’s chaos thieves thrive on.
View from The Cliff
Do not hold or use cells in public places. The thieves are always watching. Once the crooks know where to find the stashed goodies, they’ll grab it. I’ve read that gypsies use razor blades to cut into backpacks to steal items.
Use a money belt or clip to store cash, credit cards, and your passport. Also, photograph passports, relevant documents, and then save in the cloud for easy access while traveling around the world.
Never leave travel bags unattended for even a second. Greece is a thieves paradise. They love tourists. I must say, with my experience, they are superb thieves. Don’t give them the opportunity to steal.
Buy Transportation Security Administration (TSA) luggage padlocks and use them on luggage. Everything to deter thieves is an advantage.
Do not use fanny packs or what I call “man purses” to carry valuables. I saw many Europeans wearing these items. I bought a money clip pouch made by Lewis and Clark on Amazon.com. This article holds my credit cards and cash, on my front waist. Remember, carry just enough cash to get by for a day.
Travel Tip: Assess all travel risks before leaving home. Prepare for the worst, but expect the best.
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