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I’ve been back from the US for about 2 weeks. Things were just starting to seem normal again: I was getting back on the right schedule, I was back at work, I was going out again, etc. Then, this past Friday night, I was out with a friend when we decided to go down to the beach at 1AM. It was a perfect night. The temperature was warm but not sticky, the breeze was cool but not cold, and the beach was more or less deserted except for the occasional couple, trying to have sex in the shallow water and a group of Americans sitting and laughing.

My friend and I sat on the life guard post steps. The bottom step in front of us was in the water from high tide, so we sat halfway up and I put my purse on the step behind me so that I didn’t accidentally kick it into the water.

We had been there about 45 minutes and it was a really nice time. The conversation was easy, we were laughing, flirting a little… I turned around to check my phone for the time and my bag was gone. Gone.

The first thing that popped into my head was “oh shit…it must have fallen into the water between the stairs.” I, got up, acknowledged the missing bag, and immediately went into the water searching for floating or sunken artifacts from my newly destroyed purse. I felt like such an idiot, wading hip-deep into the water, sure that the current had carried all my personal possessions out to sea.

That’s when my friend called to me: “Is this your bag?” He asked holding it up, standing under the lifeguard stand.

My naive self thought “great! it washed up on shore instead of flowing out into the sea!” I confirmed that it was my bag, and was confused when he handed it to me and it was dry…

“Check to make sure everything is there..” He told me. Shoes, headphones, cigarettes, keys. No wallet. No iPhone. I wasn’t the drunk idiot who let her stuff get destroyed by the sea; I was the unknowing victim of petty theft. I’d been robbed.

I can’t believe this happened. I don’t know how someone snuck up behind us, close enough to take my bag without either of us knowing or realizing. I feel so stupid. So exposed.

Long story short, my phone is gone as is all the contents of my wallet: my credit cards, my bank information, my IDs, .. gone. I carry this stuff with me because I’ve NEVER EVER EVER lost anything like this before. In fact, I have a better chance of loosing something in my apartment than losing it if it’s in my wallet, which is exactly why I carry those things on me.

I won’t do that again.

Today I got a temporary solution for my phone while I figure out how to buy a new iPhone. Tomorrow, I have to go to the Ministry of the Interior, the court house, and make an appointment with the Ministry of Absorption all to replace my two major ID’s. My new bank cards should be here Thursday, I think. And I am waiting to hear back from the American Embassy about replacing my social security card, which was also in the wallet. My NJ driver’s license is gone and there is no way for me to replace it. Everything else will be a pain, but not as much as these items.

Wish me luck.