Blogs about Vancouver usually describe its beauty or the many unique cuisines you can find in this tourist gem of a city. I rarely see blog posts about safety or security in Vancouver, so in light of recent events I’m unearthing my blog. Vancouver, as it grows, still also has the pitfalls of many other cities – tourists be wary.
This morning at about 6:30 AM I sat at the Starbucks Coffee shop on Cambie & Broadway earnestly working on my laptop. I guess that I was so focused on my work that someone had the ability to reach into my bag, which was sitting less than a foot beside me, and take my wallet. It was only after a couple hours that I noticed my wallet was missing and went into a panicked frenzy.
No one likes having anything stolen, wallets least of all. Mine contained my ID, debit/credit cards, loyalty cards, gift cards and most importantly however, in my wallet was money for this month’s rent; I was planning to deposit it into my account for the end of the month deadline.
After calling my bank and being told that both my debit and credit card had already been used at the nearby drug store I was hit with a sense of sadness. It was a horrible gut wrenching feeling when I realized it was actually stolen. It wasn’t just the money that my fiance and I worked so hard for but the idea that someone violated my personal space – while I was sitting right there!
Most people around me know how unbearably optimistic and positive I am but when I started thinking about the simple act of a person violating my personal space it dragged me down a wormhole of questions that rocked my core: why do people do these things? Why is it that in all the dangerous places I’ve travelled I’ve only ever had my belongings stolen in the city I call home? Should I be carrying my cards or money on a strap around my neck as tourists do?
The rhetoric in my head started becoming pretty depressing. My fiance came home and he was far more expressive than I was about this whole situation. As he lamented over losing our rent money with various Irish curses, I came to realize that things could be far far far worse. Throughout the day friends and coworkers generously offered support and getting all my cards re-issued seems to be straightforward. We stopped to think of what would happen if we weren’t as fortunate in a situation as we are now and were filled with so much gratitude.
Vancouver is a beautiful city and most people are generally wonderful but as the city continues to grow we should also remind tourists to keep watch over their belongings. As such with most urban centres, pickpocketing and other big city crimes exist. With summer around the corner I’m hoping to use this blog post as a caution for the tourists that are heading this way.
This beautiful gem of a city also has it’s sharp edges.