jerry and jean

jerry and jean

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Pickpockets and pockets picked

Well, as you can tell from the title we fell victim to a very common crime in tourist areas today.  You read about it, you guard against it, and it happens before you know it.  Here is what happened.

Started the day as usual, a little slow, but decided it was such a glorious day we would go to the Oceanographic Museum.  Largest aquarium in the world, but also a big I MAX theater and science museum, etc. etc. etc.  It is the crown jewel of Valencia, and we were going to tackle it.  We bused down to near the park and started walking this beautiful esplanade with all these beautiful buildings.

on the way we saw flowers, flowers, flowers!

The new performing arts building next to the Oceanographic.

see my purse.  Little, right in the front, safe.  Uh-huh!

very few people there 
Part of the biosphere

flowers blooming

on the left the science museum, right ahead is the Oceanographic museum

So we're walking down this beautiful space, meet some lovely people from the Netherlands who take our picture, we take theirs, we visit a little about Valencia, then we go on.
purse, right there in the front.  Safe.  

Hardly anyone there.

Right before we go into the museum is a plaza that has all kinds of cool sundials and such, so we stop to look around.  Each one reads the sun a little differently, but it was all basic earth/sun relationship stuff that we both taught, so it was interesting.

Another youngish couple is there too.  Then WHAM I am hit in the back with something wet.....That's weird. I ask Jerry if he can see anything, "No", I said, " I think that lady just squirted me with something."  But then she came up to me and said, "Oh, a bird just pooped on your back"  I reached to the back of my shirt and sure enough green goo was on my hand.  She said, "Oh, you have to get it off or it will stain, there is some water up there in the Biosphere."  She and her "husband" strike up a conversation while we are walking to the garden, where are you from?, Oh we're from Mexico, we are neighbors, etc.  Then the husband says I have some baby wipes in my bag, so he starts rubbing my back and hair, then says that Jerry has some on his back too.  I look and sure enough the same green goo is on his shoulder.  He gives me a wipe, he is wiping, I am wiping, his wife is wiping my back.  Conversation, conversation.  Jerry has some in his hair, I have more in my hair, Jerry now has some on his slacks in the back (looking for his wallet, which was in his front pocket, thankfully not the back). They just kept putting more goo on until they got something.  My purse has slipped to the back of me, They finish, we are grateful for the help  and leave.  My wallet out of my little brown purse is GONE, Purse is still there.  I noticed it right away, but they were gone.  Jerry and I tried to chase them down but they were pros, disappeared into the sunlight.

One of the funny things is that I have a photo of them, behind Jerry on one of the sundials.
Way in the back you can see them.  I have enlarged it here.
Dirty stinkers! America's most wanted!
Fortunately for us, we were not hurt (other than getting a lot of green salsa Verde on our clothes and in our hair).  They got one debit card (Which is cancelled now) 60 euros in cash, my blue cross card and my driver's license (which I don't think they can do anything with).  Could be a lot worse.  We found a security guard right away, he reported it to the police and then got us a cab to go to the police station where we filed a report.  Everyone was so nice to us (except the thieves) but we just came home, cleaned up and are staying in tonight.  We will try the oceanographic tomorrow.

Lessons learned:  Crazy distractions usually mean you are going to be targeted.  This sort of thing doesn't necessarily happen in crowds.  If someone touches you they are not doing it out of the goodness of their heart.  Don't carry much on you (We leave almost everything at the apartment) The police are your friends, and 60 euros is a good price for a great story!!!!

So, not everything is perfect on our trip, but we are not letting it get us down.  We have another debit card for another account, and I'm not driving anywhere soon.  They didn't get my passport, or "real" credit cards, They didn't get Jerry's wallet (they were sure trying), and no one was injured.  Pretty good outcome, I guess.

Until tomorrow, which I hope is full of nothing but fun stuff.  Adios!