It was a Thursday evening, at around 6pm, slightly before the show closed and everyone started to leave. Hundreds needed to go, but there was no taxi in sight, not even 1. We took the only reasonable choice at that time, a 100-baht/head (way overpriced) minivan to Asoke, before continuing our journey back home.
After a frustrating 1-hour journey in which I could hardly even move inside the little packed van, we were relieved to finally reach our destination and got off in a hurry. Alas! Within seconds I realised something was wrong, my usually-bulging front pocket felt unusually light. My wallet!
I turned around (thank God for traffic jam), the van was still stuck at the same position behind me. If I had not put it back into my pocket after paying the fare, it would have dropped on the van and I just needed to get back up to retrieve it. But no, we turned the van upside down but could not spot it. Pickpocket? Extremely unlikely. I was squished in the corner of the back-most seat with my brother beside me, so unless my loving elder brother decided to play a nasty trick on me, there was no chance it was stolen by a pickpocket. There was a young lady left on the van though, after everyone alighted at Asoke, who looked concerned but did not aid much in the search. Could she have seen it? I guess we will never know. She sure saw my frantic-about-to-cry-burly-old-man face though.
The rest of the night involved holding back tears, trying to appear unshaken in front of my family, suspending all my credit/debit cards (unexpectedly quick and easy even for English speakers), visiting the police station and acting as if nothing happened. One doesn't dare to hold hope of getting back a wallet lost in the densely populated metropolis named Bangkok.
|You are a pesky little survivor, aren't you|
A week later, I received a call from Siam Paragon informing me my wallet has been found in their toilet, all documents intact, just without any cash (who cares!). It meant that my I/C and driving licence (yes I have one) will not have to be replaced!
For everyone who is not familiar with Bangkok, I shall now summarize what you have just read. I lost my wallet anywhere between IMPACT Muang Thong Thani (which is technically no longer in Bangkok) and Asoke (right smack in the middle of downtown), and it ended up in a toilet inside the huge Siam Paragon (5 train stations away from Asoke) a week later and the staff made sure I got it back. I only lost a few thousand baht in the process. How miraculous is that!
To the person who made sure I got my wallet back, thank you very much. Whether you are the one who took it in the first place is not important to me anymore.
Faith in humanity. Restored!
PS. Things to take note from this lesson.
1. Bring a car along with you when you visit IMPACT next time, it's a bloody trap over there.
2. If not, go early and leave early, preferably before 3pm, especially on a Friday. If not, just don't go on a Friday.
3. Life goes on, with or without your wallet!