On March 22, 2016, my flight landed at Arlanda Airport in Stockholm a half hour ahead of schedule – a lovely ending to a beautiful flight. Clearing customs was a breeze. Finding an ATM was easy enough. Soon I had pocketed a starter stash of Swedish Krona and purchased a bus ticket for a ride into the city. So where’s the bad news?
When boarding the bus, I realized I no longer had my laptop. Immediately, I retraced my steps, starting in the area where I last handled the case containing the laptop. I could not find it and the tourist information service had no knowledge of its whereabouts. The bus had to depart, but the driver and the luggage assistant assured me that I would be able to take a later bus, even though my ticket had been taken and processed by the driver.
Thus assured, I headed for the airport’s Lost and Found office. Alas, they did not have my computer. A detailed report was filled out and left with Lost and Found.
Again I looked around the airport, a final search that was as fruitless as the others. There was no point in hanging around the airport. If the laptop was stolen, and I could come to no other conclusion, it was a thoroughly professional job. A thief of that caliber would have long since placed my computer out of view.
Now I should explain why the loss of my computer wasn’t that bad. The missing computer was a recently purchased used laptop. It had virtually nothing stored on it, and certainly nothing of great value. I had turned it on only twice since I bought it. My main computer, a desktop, was safely at home.
The refurbished laptop had recently been purchased for $117, shipping included. Hardly a fortune. Moreover, insurance could cover such a loss, although I didn’t think about that at the time. Three flash drives stored in the laptop case were more of a loss, but nearly all of their content was backed up on my desktop.
My reaction to this incident was slight annoyance with myself for violating my own security policy. Part of that policy is to maintain continuous visual and/or physical contact with luggage in airports and other public places. If it can’t be seen, physical contact should be continuous.
But neither my morning nor my day was ruined. I boarded the bus and quite enjoyed my ride into the city, as well as the remainder of my visit.
Obviously, this part of Special Report #3 is a cautionary tale. While relaying the story to a friend, I said I probably would not publish this incident. She, however, thought that it should be shared, that it would be instructive and might well save others from a similar fate. Okay, enough with the not-so-bad news.
Make sure you check out the post below and have a look at the video posted today on The Artful Traveler facebook page. The reason why will be obvious.
Feel free to leave a comment. I’ll read them all and respond.
*You can get this full report and others in the series by filling out the signup form on this page.