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Your travel panic moments

Describe them.
13 years ago, April 2nd 2010 No: 1 Msg: #107801  
Here is one of mine.

I took a bus from Taillinn to one of the islands off the coast of Estonia. During the journey, the bus drove onto a boat and all the passangers including me got off and went to the cafe of the boat.

When I went back downstairs, the busses had moved from the positions they were in, when I got out of the bus, and there were several busses which looked like the one I had taken from Tailinn. I didnt speak the local language, so spent 10 panicky minutes searching for somebody who could speak some English, and trying to remember what some of the people on my bus journey looked like. I eventually found the bus, by getting on a number of them, and looking to see if my jacket was on the seat of any of them.
Reply to this

13 years ago, April 2nd 2010 No: 2 Msg: #107804  
I suppose mine would be Escape From Moscow.. All's well that ends well!

J. Reply to this

13 years ago, April 2nd 2010 No: 3 Msg: #107808  
I was going for a week to see friends in Peru. At the time I was living in Saigon, Vietnam. My trip was Saigon-Bangkok-LA-Lima and return Lima-LA-Bangkok-Shanghai.

2am, got my wallet stolen in a bar in Saigon...no more credit cards, no more cash...I had my passport and flight details. A friend of mine lend me 300usd for the trip...and my flight was at 9am...few hours after.

Never travelled with such empty pockets...was good to have friends in Lima to help me solve the issue...one the way back, I had 25usd in my pocket to cross the world...

Was an interesting time few years ago...had few other interesting happenings through the years... Reply to this

13 years ago, April 3rd 2010 No: 4 Msg: #107876  
My girlfriends drink was spiked in Cusco. She is always well mannered and well behaved. She had three drinks and went crazy. I had to call a doctor she was so out of it. I always swore if I found the person who did it I might never have been allowed to leave Peru again! Reply to this

13 years ago, April 3rd 2010 No: 5 Msg: #107885  
Went for a walk from my hotel in Aukland and after around an hour I felt like a coffee but realised I'd left my wallet in my room.It was now that it dawned on me that I had no idea the name or address of my hotel or even what district it was in.I'd arrived at 2am the previous morning so couldn't even describe it.I walked in the general direction and back for about 3hours when I remembered the hotel manager said an award winning Indian restaurant was on next corner.I didn't know name of restaurant or name of award but when I spoke to taxi driver he said that would be blahblah restaurant and your hotel must be the blahblah.In every hotel I've booked into since I ask for a card before I get my key Reply to this

13 years ago, April 3rd 2010 No: 6 Msg: #107900  
B Posts: 77
I had explosive diarrhea on a bus from Vietnam to Kunming just a few days ago. Also got my laptop stolen on the same voyage after I finally fell asleep with soiled boxers. Reply to this

13 years ago, April 3rd 2010 No: 7 Msg: #107912  
First time I took a train in europe between amsterdam and berlin...Nobody was able to explain me how things were working with my pass. I took the train and at the border I guys wanna charge us 200 euros to stay in the train. He yelled at us for 30 min and after that he try to expluse us. An other guy from the train staff call him down and let us in the train with a simple warning.

On the same trip I lost my girlfriend in barcelona and look for her for 3h00 before finding her...

I had a great trip anyway. Reply to this

13 years ago, April 8th 2010 No: 8 Msg: #108245  
After 6 trouble-free months in South America I got robbed on my last night, all my money and cards gone. In the morning I phoned the British Embassy using my last coin on a payphone and they told me to come there and they'd give me some free money and pay for my taxi! Did that but still missed my flight back to England. The airline kindly agreed that if I came to the airport the next day and there were any no shows on the plane I could take the seat of the no-show for free.

I took a taxi to the airport the next day and paid the driver with a 100peso note for the 50 peso fee, saving my 50 peso change for the departure tax. Luckily there was a no show and I was told I could take the seat.

When it came to going through departures I wasn't allowed through because the 50 peso note the taxi driver had given me, the only money I had, was fake. As I had had to wait till check in closed to make sure there was definitely a no show and I could have my seat, I now had only about 30 minutes before take off. I offered the guards to sell them my watch and when they said no I ran around asking people if they wanted to buy it. Eventually one of the guards beckoned me back over and offered to buy it for about a quarter of its value, just enough for the departure tax, and I got onto the plane minutes before take off! Reply to this

13 years ago, April 10th 2010 No: 9 Msg: #108396  
My first time travelling to China: I was travelling with my sister, and we were both super-excited. It was a beautiful day for flying, too: from Atlanta to San Fran, clear as glass, saw the Grand Canyon and even spotted Bryce Canyon from the air; amazing, since we had been to Bryce before.

It all went downhill once we landed in San Fran. An online ticket-booking service (to remain unnamed) managed to drop our reservations for the flight to Beijing; we got this lovely piece of information just trying to find our way to the gate.

Had to haul it to an entirely different gate in the hopes we could get stand-by on another plane; as we ran through the airport, of course we had to get selected for a random search in security. Went through the "sniffer" and had every last bag and suitcase unloaded and rifled through. Just barely made it to the gate when the plane was boarding. There were seats; we got on.

My sister lost her cell phone on the plane and never got it back. That was the cherry on top of our incredibly stressful day, and we never used the aforementoned ticket-booking service again. But we made it! Reply to this

13 years ago, April 18th 2010 No: 10 Msg: #108979  
I had a few panicky moments last year in Africa.

The worst of them though happened when I was returning a rental car to Maun in Botswana. I was taking a scenic though less-travelled route recommended to me by a local, which was essentially straight up through the middle (skirting around the Kalahari). Granted, it was one of the best sunsets I've ever seen, though shortly after I encountered what I found out to be the biggest problem in Botswana.

The farmers don't bother to fence their animals in; during the daytime cows, goats and donkeys graze at the side of the road, occasionally drifting across, ignoring the traffic. At night, they gather on the road. I did not know this until I was driving along, squinting to see in front of me (a swarm of billions of flies had darkened the lights), I saw something I'll never, ever forget.

There were easily 50 donkeys in the middle of the road. I swerved to the left, slamming on the brakes. I hit one or two of them; I remember hearing that. The car spun around; I was heading backwards, across the road, before hitting a bump. (This part seemed to happen in slow motion) The bump turned the car onto its roof, spinning a couple of times, before landing perfectly on its wheels facing the wrong direction right under a tree.

When I got out of the car I collapsed on the ground, half expecting to be dead! I was alive and relatively uninjured. I was lucky enough to have crashed near a cattle post - they'd heard the crash and came to help me. They managed to get through to the police (who took 2 hours to come). I was bleeding from the head, blood all down my face and favourite t shirt, which didn't stop the cattle post guys from stealing from me. I was running around the crash site looking for my possessions - I managed to get my wallet, passport and phone which I kept on me, but they stole my spare phone, binoculars, sunglasses, swiss army knife etc.

I had to spend the night in a hospital (specifically here: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Rakops&sll=-20.287961,24.752197&sspn=2.509077,3.532104&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Rakops,+Boteti,+Botswana&ll=-20.535077,23.79364&spn=1.252581,1.766052&t=h&z=9 Officially the middle of bloody nowhere.

All in all I'm relatively glad I had the crash - I survived (which made me happy) and it makes a good story!

Other panics are
AirFrance losing my luggage and refusing to go and find it (despite saying they knew where it was and that I had a connecting flight in 2 hours - cut that one v close)

A guy who tried to mug me in Pretoria - twice. (he was a beginner, bless him)

Having my debit card cloned in Rustenburg, the day after the Namibian Border Police threatened to arrest me and "lock me up" Reply to this

13 years ago, April 18th 2010 No: 11 Msg: #108986  
While traveling to Cambodia off of my Chinese salary, I was already weary because I had 3 days to travel throughout Cambodia before having to get back to Bangkok and get a flight back to China. I had budgeted just enough money and was set, until my wallet was stolen at a Mangrove tour on my last night there. I initially thought I lost it, so I went back in the middle of the night with the driver who kindly gave me a free ride, bad idea, because as soon as I arrived there were 7-10 Cambodian men 'helping me' look for my wallet. It was dark and definitely not a good idea to be wandering in the darkness with strange Cambodian men. Eventually I figured it had to be stolen earlier that day, as evidenced by my friends picture that shows me holding my wallet before getting on the boat. I later remembered the boy driving the boat being unnecessarily close. I still have no proof either way. So he is either a thief, I am careless. Either way I wasn't paying attention.
Anyways, the next day I had no money and needed to leave that evening to make my flight to Bangkok, which was absolutely necessary because I had to start working the next day. I was panicking and thankfully, despite unsuccessful attempts to call my folks back in the states, I finally got a hold of my mother, who graciously western unioned me some money so I could get back to China. But for like 15 hours I was royally screwed. Reply to this

12 years ago, March 26th 2011 No: 12 Msg: #132103  
Everywhere I'd been ,previously, cash machines give you your card 1st then your cash but for some reason it's the opposite in Sth America. My 1st week in Peru i got US$100 from the bank. I had aleady paid my rent so this $ lasted me around 10days. When I went to get some more $ I didn't have my card. I realised ,out of a lifetimes habit, I had grabbed my $ and walked, leaving my card in the machine. Luckily ,in Peru, you have to re-enter your pin number for each transaction but it was a scary 12hrs, waiting until Australian office hours, to cancel my card. I had another account and had family put some $ in there ,to see me through, but I would have been in trouble without them as it took about 5weeks to get replacement card to Peru Reply to this

12 years ago, March 28th 2011 No: 13 Msg: #132169  
A fool and his money (the bemo from Remo). details loosing all my remaining funds and my passport to a random bemo driver at 7am in Sumatra. Things don't go as planned in the land of the buffalo cult. details in far to great detail how our bank left us with no cash, and unusable cards, this time in Sulawesi. And, though I onloy briefly mention it, getting stung by a scorpion while rafting on the Kali Gandaki, miles from anywhere. Reply to this

12 years ago, March 28th 2011 No: 14 Msg: #132170  
A fool and his money (the bemo from Remo). details loosing all my remaining funds and my passport to a random bemo driver at 7am in Sumatra. Things don't go as planned in the land of the buffalo cult. details in far to great detail how our bank left us with no cash, and unusable cards, this time in Sulawesi. And, though I onloy briefly mention it, getting stung by a scorpion while rafting on the Kali Gandaki in Nepal, miles from anywhere. Reply to this

12 years ago, March 30th 2011 No: 15 Msg: #132337  
B Posts: 847
Just a block off my hotel in Nanjing, China, i took a nasty fall. I slipped, fell on my right side, broke my eyeglasses. The right side of my face hit the pavement so hard it split my eyeglasses into 2. By some freak accident, the ’stem’ (that part that rides on the ear) got stuck just below my right eyebrow. The stem was ‘hanging’ since that little screw got stuck!

Looked ugly, bled all the way back to the hotel to ask them to hail me a cab (no one seems to speak English where I fell) to take me to the hospital. Now, that hospital episode was another ordeal. Here's the story.

Misadventure in Nanjing, China (2007)
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12 years ago, March 30th 2011 No: 16 Msg: #132353  
I have had a few but I think the real PANIC moment was about 30 years ago,I was Interrailing through Europe and had spent the night in Basel Switzerland. I was with a couple of friends and we had gone to the train station to book trains to the south of France ( overnight Couchettes).left the trains station and went for a wander in the city,later in the day I noticed that my travel pack with my passport,Interail card,youth hostel card,Travellers Checks and other bits and pieces was no longer on my person.PANIC!!!!!!!!!
I retraced my steps ,but went back to the train station where a smiling clerk just waved my pack and gave it back to me,he would not accept a reward,I have been a lot more careful since then.

Mel one trick I have learned about buses,is to note the colour and registration so you get back on the right one.A lot easier now with digital cameras,also useful for taking pictures of luggage lockers,bus stops and other markers in the areas you are travelling through and need to get back to. Reply to this

12 years ago, March 30th 2011 No: 17 Msg: #132410  
I had a similar moment interrailing in Italy, Barmy! We'd just come from Grindlewald, Swtizerland. We had changed at Milan to get to Verona; the train we were on was going on to Venice, our final destination after Verona. I had one of those neck wallet things, and for some stupid reason I'd taken it off to put on my backpack as we got off at Verona. Five minutes later - PANIC! Where's my passport? All of my money? and my interrail ticket!??! Somewhere between Verona and Venice.

I went with my friend Fran (she has good communication skills, mine are shite) to an office to try and retrieve it. The two officers there were so lovely and helpful (Though I commented to Fran that they looked like us two in 30 years time if things went wrong...), they got on the radio right away to the conducter (hearing my own name repeatedly in an Italian accent was hilarious!) who put it on the next train back to Verona. All in all there was only about two hours delay in the train station. Reply to this

12 years ago, April 4th 2011 No: 18 Msg: #132909  
B Posts: 897
Other than being bitten on the shoulder by the nephew of a woman imprisoned for cannibalism in PNG I would say it was being detained by indonesian authorities regarding a visa overstay issue.

I had already checked my bags in and was about to walk through customs to board my flight when I felt a hand on my shoulder and was steered by imigrasi to an interview room, possibly the same interview room occupied by the bali 9 and chapelle corby (all aussies convicted for drug offences in recent years in bali) where a large customs man sat and flicked through the pages of my passport without saying anything as the minutes to boarding passed by. Eventually it turned out that I had been the victim of a well organised scam with a particular Virgin plane arriving just before midnight leading to confusion/corruption with immigration people stamping your visa pre midnight date so you technically overstay your visa...in my case by 4 minutes.

I was offered the following choices - 250,000 rupiah cash and 25USD or 25 day jail...he got the cash and I had to run through the gate and scramble onto the plane just as it was leaving. I dont want to go through that too often. Very unnerving. Reply to this

12 years ago, April 5th 2011 No: 19 Msg: #132956  
When I lost my credit card and couldn't pull out any money for a while.

And when I was almost denied entry into the United Kingdom for not having a ticket out of the country. Reply to this

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