Recently I traveled to Amsterdam, Holland with Stellar Kart. It was definitely a fun time, but started off like crap. We arrived into Amsterdam on a Monday morning at 6am. We got picked up and headed to our hotel, about an hour or so away, getting there about 7:30 or so. After unloading the van, we discovered that my briefcase, containing my laptop, PSP, iPod, and a hefty payment check from the last gig that the band had played did not make it to the hotel, meaning it was left in Amsterdam at the airport. I definitely remembered having it in a luggage cart that rolled out to the van, so we just didn’t get it loaded into the van and in the excitement of being in a foreign country, we hopped in the van and took off. A small box of CD’s was also left in another luggage cart basket too. We simply weren’t paying attention.
The previous week I had been turned onto a website called stuffbak.com. Basically, the premise is that you purchase these stickers with a code printed on it. Then, upon receiving these stickers, you place them on your valuable items such as laptop, briefcase, wallet, passport, etc. I received a free one with my new cell phone, checked it out, and bought a package of stickers from them and labeled all of my stuff before heading overseas, making sure to register all of my stickers and model numbers, serial numbers, etc. My briefcase being one of these items.
So after discovering that my briefcase was no longer in my possession, I call the rental car place at the airport who called down to the garage attendant who said they didn’t have anything (and probably didn’t bother looking either). My heart was sunk. Essentially it was probably close to $3,000 of loss after you consider my laptop and all other electronics and the case together, not to mention the stress and inconvenience of trying to get everything back. I did happen to find an internet cafe where I went onto my account at Stuffbak to officially declare that my briefcase, laptop, iPod, and PSP were lost. Other than that, I had no hope. Brian from the band noted that as we all travel together, it’s really all of our faults as it could have easily been anything to be left behind and it only takes that one time that we’re all not paying attention for something of value to be forgotten. I just got to be at the short end of the stick for this one.
The next day we were at a school that had some computers with internet setup for us. Very cool since we had to pay for internet at the hotel. I hop online to find the glorious email that my laptop had been found by someone, their email, and phone number. Not only that, but I got an email from my cell phone voice mail service with the personal voice mail that Stuffbak team had left telling me that my stuff had been found. SWEET! I gave the number to our host and they called him up and arranged to get my briefcase back the following night.
Up till this point, everybody in the band had poked fun at me for how every single thing I travel with, laptop, briefcase, camera, passport, wallet, keys, iPod, PSP, had these Reward for Return labels on them. Now, they all admitted they hang their heads with respect for the whole system.
I ride with to the guy’s house. He opens the door and he was a man probably in his 60’s with a sweet mustache. He said he went by the luggage carts and saw that my briefcase and the box of CD’s were in the baskets of the two carts, but with there being a lot of people around, figured that someone would come back for it. An hour later, 9am, he comes back to see that they were still there, so he picked them up seeing the Reward for Return stuffbak label attached. So, my stuff was there for 3 hours unnoticed and not picked up by any security or anything. Crazy. After looking at my briefcase closer, it’s definitely apparent that someone tried to break and pry the lock on my briefcase, but must have given up.
As we drove back, my host was extremely surprised that I got everything back in one piece. They noted that the people in Amsterdam, even the Christians are not very honest people, so to get something of that value back is unbelievable.
I definitely think that the Lord had a hand over my stuff. The whole day after I lost it I just kept praying and giving it to God knowing that He can give and take as he pleases, and that while it sucks to have lost everything, I had confidence that He had a plan in place and would provide a way to replace the things that I need.
Moral of the story – 1) don’t loose your stuff, 2) be annoying in checking to make sure that we have everything with us, 3) label all your crap with Stuffbak labels…never know what’s going to be left where. (Use the promo code friend for 10% off)Find this useful? Take just a moment and give a $1. Thanks!