I was telling earlier about my travel nightmare, which was more like a funny mishap, even if it didn’t feel like that at the moment it happened. I had a sleepless night last night, and for some reason, another unlucky incident from the time I was living in Spain popped into my mind. And this one, dear friends, is the most terrifying thing that has ever happened to me when being abroad.
Before getting more deeply into the story, I need to describe small details about my working place in Spain. The office was actually situated in the apartment where my boss lived. There were only three people working there full time, so the biggest bedroom was turned into an office. Actually, I considered the huge terrace as my own private office, as I always worked there with my lovely pink laptop, combining the hard work and getting tanned.
So yes, it was a little bit different kind of an office. But I loved it, as we had a proper kitchen where to cook lunch, we had a pool outside where to spend lunch breaks and also a spare bedroom, where we were able to stay for the night with my colleague Gina after an office night out (which we had quite often).
So we did also on Thursday the 14th of June in 2012.
We had a company night out in Marbella, and even if we didn’t plan a late night party, we decided to stay at the office overnight so we could sleep later on Friday morning and start fresh, being already at work. So practical. After some tasty strawberry margaritas, we came back to the office apartment around 1.30 a.m. and decided to have a traditional nightcap before going to bed.
We hit the bed at 2.30 a.m. but I was having troubles with sleeping and was awake in my bed at least for another hour. Even after falling asleep the first time, some hyperactive mosquitoes kept me awake the most of the night. So many times I was also about to get up and go to the toilet but was too lazy to do that. Around 6 a.m. I noticed that Gina wasn’t sleeping particularly well either, so we turned the light on and started jumping around the room catching those noisy mosquitoes. Before going back to bed, we both also went to the toilet.
In the morning I was the first one to get up for work, just before 9 a.m. I entered the office room and was wondering where the hell was my laptop, as it wasn’t at my desk where I always leave it after work. The first thought was that our boss had done a funny prank and hidden my laptop until I noticed that Gina’s laptop was also missing. I woke Gina and our boss up and then I noticed the front door of the apartment is slightly open. We had had some unexpected visitors during the night.
We started to investigate immediately what else had disappeared, and where had the burglars came in, as none of us had heard a thing. Our boss had been awake around 4 a.m. and I had slept restlessly for the whole night. Gina and I both were up from 6 to 6.30, but none of us had noticed anything exceptional. Even the dog downstairs had been silent for the whole night, even if she was normally barking at every step or noise. All windows and terrace doors were intact and locked, so there was only one option – they had come in through the front door.
In the staircase, we figured out where the robbers had entered the building. From the vents on the wall – which are obviously way too big – some paint had dropped to the corridor floor. The doormat in front of the apartment’s door had been lifted to the stairs, apparently to ensure a quick escape. The uninvited visitors had surely been in a hurry because they had left behind the battery and the charger for Gina’s laptop. Every top drawer in our office was pulled open, but because the drawers only contained some envelopes and other boring office stuff, only the laptops were stolen.
The rock which had been holding the office room’s door open had been carried to the living room couch. Apparently, the robbers wanted to make sure that they have a weapon to defend themselves with, in case someone will wake up during their escape. Also, my calendar, which had been in my backpack in the office room, was found on the lounge table. They had probably thought it was a wallet and abandoned it when noticing it was just a diary. Besides the laptops, the only thing missing from the flat was a souvenir from Kenya, a wooden mallet that my boss called as his “chief stick”, a good weapon for defending as well.
The police came to see the scene and explained how the robbers had entered the flat. The front door was obviously locked, but not double locked. Apparently, it is very easy to come in by using a credit card or similar, in case the safety lock is not on.
The whole thing hit me quite hard afterwards when I realized that going to the toilet at the wrong time during the night could have ended badly. I couldn’t understand how it was possible having burglars in an apartment while I and two other people were spending the night, just behind the wall. And each of us was awake during the night as well, and no one heard a thing. But in the end, two stolen laptops is definitely a better option than getting hit with a rock in the skull.
We tend to think too often that nothing ever happens to us until it does. The lesson of this story is to give a gentle reminder, that safety locks exist for a reason. So whether you have one in your own flat or holiday hotel room, remember to use it when you go out or go to sleep. We learned it the hard way.
Do you have a terrifying travel experience or a scary memory from your trips? Please share your experiences in comments below!
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