3 Nightmares within 7 days: My (fantastic) Vacation in London


I will not give a day by day schedule of my stay in London (I’d need a blog of my own, and my editor won’t let me). So here follow three different ordeals I experienced while abroad in my favourite city (it still is, despite this).



The Disappearing Cash Affair

Not so much an affair and more of a very close call with destitution. At the top of our list of priorities was Oxford Street, home to anyone intending to go on a shopping spree to end all shopping sprees. I had the fantastic idea to take a significant amount of cash to dispose of through every shop we visited. It was about half an hour in, on my way to Selfridges, grinning with glee, I reached into my small bag to retrieve my cash, and froze when I felt nothing but the cold press of the coins.



Somerset House is a magical venue. The ice rink is in the courtyard of a restored Neoclassical building, and the lights and ambiance blend together to create an utterly surreal evening. All six of us spent most of our time on the rink falling in spectacular and innovative ways. We laughed it off, but the merriment stopped when my friend Anne fell and hit her head on the railing. At the sight of blood, panic ensued, but the marshals expertly got her out of the rink.

She was admitted to a nearby hospital. Thankfully, everything was fine, and she just had a minor concussion.


Time Management gone awry

We went to London, above all, to meet a friend spending some time living there. On our last day, we put any extra space in our luggage to good use and took some of her things back home with us. We did not foresee how long this would take. Yes, we made it to the airport, and we made it home. My friend’s phone and tablet didn’t – she lost them along the way in the mad rush to get to the tube in time. To this day, we still aren’t sure where she left them.

Here, I thanked the gods (actually Anne, who forced me and the others to purchase travel insurance when she got her own). As soon as I realised my money was gone in Selfridges, the customer care centre helped me file a report. Then, I called GasanMamo about my stolen cash, and they helpfully assured me that, if I have a receipt of the foreign currency I purchased and filed the police report (customer care at Selfridges kindly helped me through this process), this would help me get most of the money back. They also helped Anne with her hospital expenses and my other friend with a refund on her lost gadgets.

I learned some things from my experience. Mostly, that you can love a place even if it takes away your money and then proceeds to send your friend to the hospital. Second, that an insurance policy from a reputable insurance company is a must when traveling abroad.


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