Mean Mugging

On Wednesday evening Steve and I arrived in Bangkok to begin the holiday I’ve been waiting eight long months for. Yeah, I can hear you now, ‘but you’ve been to Bali like five months this year.’ So? That’s work. And ask Clare, I cry a lot and it is not a vacation.

I won’t bore you the details of the flight. Why do people always want to talk about the fucking flight? You went up in the air, you ate and slept and watched horrible movies, which were terribly edited, so you likely missed all the good bits and key plot points.

You then watched a shitty pixilated computer graphic of your vessel get closer and closer to your destination on a shitty map while you salivated, fantasising about brushing your furry teeth. Then you landed. Whoop dee do. Unless your journey wildly differs from this account, ever, stop boring people with the play-by-play of your airline adventure. No one cares.

Anyway, we queued up for a taxi and let the thick, familliar smell of garbage permeate our skin and settle into our pores before heading to a hotel we hadn’t stayed in before (because as anyone knows, the secret to a long and happy marriage is switching it up. Amiright?) and by the time we arrived at our destination Steve and I were bags of excitement and anticipation sewed tightly into human skin.

We dropped our shit off and headed straight out to our favourite eatery in Thailand. This would be the part where I’d show you a photo of a cart with two wheels and an old man dispensing soup, like medicine, to the huddled masses. Sadly, that photo is on my phone, which is gone with the fucking wind. More on that later.

After a delightful dinner, which we ate way too fast while sat at a table with a ladyboy, who was fooling no one, we peeled ourselves off our street-side stools, sated and sleepy, and tottered back towards our sleeping quarters, grateful for the walk and looking forward to nothing more than a night of dreamless sleep.

We passed our usual hotel, the place where we have spent three other glorious vacations, a place so familiar to us it might as well be ours, and noticed a sign warning women to be careful with their bags. I scoffed at the idea. But Thailand is so safe! I thought to myself. What a fucking dum-dum. I was so high on fucking pork broth and the thought of a cold Singha that I had clearly lost brain cells. I paused briefly on the sidewalk to complement two strangers on their adorable dogs (of course) and Steve got ahead of me.

Steve called back for me to put my bag on my other arm and I replied petulantly that ‘it would fall off my shoulder.’ What a twat. That last word hadn’t even fully fell from my whiny lips before a scooter, with two shitty little men on it, approached us on the sidewalk at quite a speed. I backed up, thinking the might hit me, and then those fuckers pulled me into the road like a fucking rag doll and it was like I was being shaken from a nightmare.

I spun out into the road as they sped away, whooping with glee at their booty as I stood in the street taking inventory of my physical state. My arm was burning a bit from my bingo wing getting twisted in the shoulder strap and I was confused, but I was fine and the only thing that really hurt was knowing they’d just made off with my bag. My well loved Marc Jacobs bag, which caringly housed my phone, my wallet, cash, credit cards, my driving licence and my faith in humanity neatly inside.

Steve was stunned, but this was not my first rodeo. I’ve been balls deep in this stuff with volunteers before, so I sprung into action. The lovely dog walkers behind us called to me to see if I was alright. I confirmed I was and then marched into our hotel, like I was Lisa Vanderpump, and Demanded they call the police and check the CCTV footage STAT.

LOLZ. Police in Thailand are totes hilar and give as many fucks about my stolen shit as I do the Super Bowl. Kindly, the man at the front desk, Nick, (who is a goddamned saint), took us to the police station where I regaled the whole police department with my tale of woe as if it were news and I were special.

The bemused Western translator dutifully took down the details and asked on numerous occasions, ‘you got insurance, right?’ That was code for, ‘we don’t care about this, but I’ll write you up some shit so you can make a satisfactory claim.’ I get it, I’m not mad at anyone but myself for this sorry state of affairs. Just as a quick aside, my insurance have informed me that they don’t actually cover phones, so what the hell is the point?!

Once all the details were completed we headed back to the hotel with Nick, who was sadly taking this all very personally, and entered the sixth circle of hell, which in case you aren’t aware, is cancelling all your credit cards and your phone from abroad and getting disconnected every five minutes because life’s not fair.

Once that fresh hell was put to bed, Steve and I did our best to follow, but a sleepless night ensued. The following day I felt deflated and guilty. Pretty much like actual Guilty Dog, which is one of the best videos on Youtube. But we soldiered on and hung by the pool like the happy little holidaymakers we were less than 24-hours prior. And then a miracle happened.

I was tracking my iphone, because Apple are geniuses and at about 2pm some drippy dick tip turned on my phone in the ass end of Bangkok!! Of course I tore downstairs, like a soggy-assed Paul Revere, but instead of shouting about some British guys, I was screaming into the faces of anyone present that my phone was ALIVE!!

Fuck anyone trying to check in right then. We, along with Nick and another superhero staffer, Yui, did some class-act detective work and found a shitty phone shop near where my beloved Sir Bifflekins of Baba was last switched on. We had them now!

By the time the police arrived (it took forever) we had basically solved the case like Scooby and Shaggy and were standing there waiting for the silly old coppers to come and congratulate us and then take all the credit. Nope.

They informed us that they were tapping out and that we had to head to the police station nearest to my phone ourselves and explain this clusterfuck to a whole other police department without their help, because clearly I was a HUGE inconvenience with my wanting my phone back and justice and stuff. Apparently police from all precincts don’t communicate via one big Whatsapp group and they aren’t all tight like you see on TV. What a letdown.

Saint Yui  joined us for this next delightful jaunt to what looked like a frat house for fat men who had given up on life, complete with some dude sharpening nuts. You read that right. He was using an electric sander to sharpen the shells of nuts. What a hobby. These dudes were hanging when we interrupted. Eating, Facebooking and making nuts into weapons. As you do. And they were not pleased.

Reluctantly they went out to look for the phone, but only after I accidentally gave them the wrong description of it. Yes, yes I did. I was so shocked/confused that I told them my phone was gold and not grey. I can only justify this by saying that my work phone is gold and I was high on hope and the idea of sweet, sweet revenge. What an idiot.

Of course they came back empty handed, but they did confirm that my phone was safe in the hands of a notorious Thai gangster. Most probably at his residence. At that point I stopped wanting to find it. This dude had all my info, knew where I was staying and I’d just sent the po po to his shop looking for my little lost phone. My heart was the titanic crashing on the iceberg of good intentions and the idea that I somehow deserved to have my phone returned. I didn’t. I don’t. It’s gone.

Despite this sad beginning and then being struck down with violent food poisoning the following day, where I relieved my gut of what can only be described as ten gallons of toxic TANG, in one of Thailand’s top 10 restaurants, we’re fine. And even though I then misstepped off a high bottom stair and sprained my ankle less than 48-hours in, really, all is well.

Steve has let me put Snapchat on his phone and my lovely boss gifted me an ipad (which of course I’m using for work like all the time) that I can use to write shit like this because I know you were all just dying to know how deep my stupidity goes. Deep, real deep.

Thank you all for your thoughts and well wishes. They were appreciated and soothed like a sexy homeopathic balm applied to the hangnail of my soul. I vowed to write more on this holiday, but then my keyboard broke. Yeah that too, so I had to find one yesterday. It was pricey, but it’s worth it. And it’s pink. Yay!

So here I am and hopefully I shall be again a few more times before I board my boring-as-fuck flight back to the UK, where I can tell you all about it.

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