We have friends visiting from Arizona, and we’re very excited about that. They wanted to visit Kraków; doesn’t everyone? This was my third visit to Poland’s most popular tourist destination, and I came home without my wallet. While Kraków has it’s attributes, I’ve always felt that Poznań had just as much to offer. I’ll be preaching that with even more conviction now.
After cancelling my debit/credit cards from our bank at home as well as our Polish bank, and picking up forms this morning to replace my resident permit and my tram pass, the American Consulate in K-town called. “Someone who didn’t wish to identify himself,” turned in my wallet, which no longer contained złoty and euros, but thankfully, everything else seems to be there.
I just saw a post on Trip Advisor about a woman who chased off a group of four men trying to take another woman’s wallet. Our friend thinks this might be what happened to me. He remembers a group of four or five young men lingering behind us while we visited a vendor in the Old Square that just seemed out of place to him. I’d like to make it very clear that my wallet was in my purse which was on my shoulder; it’s not like I sat it on a bench and walked away to take photos. My three traveling companions were just as shocked as I was.
Even though the thieves were only interested in cash, they were professionals, very smooth. I’m surprised that the police don’t do more to protect tourists and to keep the city high on the popularity chart, but during my Euro training, I learned that police activity here is different than what I’m used to. It seems to generally be much too passive and occasionally much too brutal. If I can now spot the tram police before they pull out their credentials, you’d think law enforcement officers could spot a team of pickpockets.PS – last year, I registered online with the US Embassy in Warsaw. I get emails about security concerns, and it made my contact information available to the workers at the consulate. Apparently, the contact information I supplied with my resident card application isn’t available to them. So if you’re living abroad, be sure to register with your embassy!