My worst travel nightmare came true last week. Passport? Gone. Camera? Ciao. 500 beautiful photos. See ya. Cash and credit cards? Adios.
After a two-week jaunt around India — which was characterized by some fairly tiring travelling, innumerable rickshaw rides (at variously inflated prices) and about 200-million touts — the proverbial hit the fan as we boarded our train at Agra for our final leg back to New Delhi's Hazrat Nizamuddin Station.
In the bustle of boarding, a train attendant was fussing around the passengers clearing away old bedding, pulling back and drawing curtains, rearranging seats and generally getting in the way. Combined with dozens of passengers climbing on and off, pakora-sellers with trays of the deep-fried snacks and chai-wallahs carrying hot kettles... it was mildly chaotic.
A moment of inattention, a flash of fatigue and fifteen seconds later… the 'attendant' had made off with my camera bag. Although, in fairness it could equally be called my passport bag, credit card bag and 8000 rupee bag... such were the contents that disappeared, never to be seen again.
You can read the full sorry story over here, but as travel disasters go I reckon it ranks fairly well up there. Just below fiery plane crash, and well above severe bout of Delhi belly. Losing your passport and every valuable to your name while stuck on a train in the middle of India? It makes a good story now, but at the time it led to serious sense of humour failure.
Despite ticking off country #30 on this trip I discovered that — no matter how much you've travelled — you can never be too careful. I'd show you some photos of the trip... but alas they're somewhere in the back alleys of Agra.