How to lose your handbag using public transport and actually get it back!
Obviously, one of the first things you normally hear from people on this side is that the crime is extremely low and to that, I can most definitely consent. Even though they also have crime, it’s not to the extent that we are used to in South Africa.
Let me tell you what recently happened to me. I travel to work daily by using public transport, that includes the train and two busses.
On the 25th of January 2018, which started out as a totally normal day turned into a nightmare by 18:00. I was exhausted and had an incredibly hard day at work and I was on the last bus home for the day. As I stepped out of the bus and the doors closed behind me, I noticed my handbag wasn’t on my shoulder anymore. The bus had literally just pulled away, my heart was racing and it felt like my life stopped for a second. My house keys, office keys, everything was in there.
I immediately called the GVB bus service number. The lady on the other side was so nice and said that the best option at that stage would be to wait for the bus to complete its route and come back. She gave me the time that the bus would more or less be there, nonetheless, I stood there and waited for more than an hour. After the fifth bus passed by and it was not there, I gave up and went home. Luckily, my husband was home and we had a spare key.
That night I had to call everyone at the office as I am normally the first one there and ended up getting another office key from Sonja, our Director.
Online "gevonden voorwerpen"
The next morning, I called GVB again and the woman on the other side told me to keep an eye on their website as they post pictures of all lost and found items. As I opened the site I saw new posts of cellphones, wallets, laptop, etc. that was left on the bus the previous day. I saw so many items, except for my handbag. I was so shocked, coming from South Africa where if you leave something lying around you can be 100% sure you will never see it again, especially the items mentioned above.
I refreshed the site every hour and right at the end of the day….my handbag. A neat photo was posted and I had to reply with some of the items in my purse. About five minutes thereafter, I got an email saying that I could collect my bag. On the website, you can even have the item delivered or you can collect it yourself. I couldn’t believe what was happening, so I went to their office. On the way there I thought to myself, what if I get an empty bag when I get there?
So, when I walked into their office, once again my heart was pounding. The lady behind the counter asked me for my reference number and immediately got my bag and gave it to me. I checked it and amazingly enough, everything was still in there, even all the money.
I would seriously say that after a year in the Netherlands, this is still one of the highlights. I can seriously not believe that I was so lucky.