Thieves in Athens, Greece
I am Mimi and I am currently studying my Masters in Architecture in London. I have traveled the globe, visiting about 40 countries since I was small. One of the biggest reasons I travel is because I enjoy time by myself. Other reasons are because I have decided to be brave, I want to follow my own schedule and I want to meet new people. Travel is ageless, no matter how old you think you are, and it gives you education about the world that you would never discover from text books.
Recently I went to Athens, Greece to explore more of their architecture and history. We stayed there for almost a week and visited various places and explored their local dishes. The weather was perfect during November; it was sunny all the time.
Petty crime is huge in Athens, though I didn’t know it upon arrival. Thieves ride the trains all day long, targeting unsuspecting travelers. I was so enthralled in catching up with my other six girlfriends, I didn’t even realize we were being targeted. When we attempted to get off the very crowded train with all of our luggage, a couple of guys separated us from one another for just a few seconds. It seemed natural enough – the train was very crowded – and in our extreme Malaysian-British politeness, we were more worried about whacking someone in the knee with our bags than the fact that people were reaching right into our bags and nabbing our stuff.
My wallet with credit cards, €600 that I’d just changed to Euros, driver’s license, student ID, dive card and prescription medicine were gone in an instant. My girlfriends lost their cash, wallet, passports and all cards too. Even though we were warned about pickpockets, especially at Monastiraki station, they still made off with our belongings. Six out of seven of us got pick pocketed exactly two hours after we touched down in Athens. We had our bags zipped in a shoulder bag, we kept it close to us all time. Somehow, the thieves managed to unzip and lifted our valuable belongings out of our bags.
We travel often, and generally we are quite often aware with our surroundings. Clearly these guys were professionals! We pretty much were out of money that whole week. We had to cook at home, spend our money wisely in regards to sightseeing and transportation. I would say this is one of the many interesting experiences I’ve been through this year. Be careful in Athens!