Travel Mistakes: Losing my phone in Dubai
It was my last day in Dubai and I had big ambitions for the day to see as much as possible. I was going to make use of the Hop on Hop off bus ticket I bought for 240 Dirhams. But in the life of Petch things always go wrong. Firstly I had my camera on the charger but it was not connected properly so it only had 13 minutes. It was already 9am and I decided it is worth waiting for awhile to charge my camera because it is one of my essential items I leave the hotel with. Close to 10am I left the hotel and the concierge hailed a taxi for me. In I hopped. It was only a short journey to Burjuman and the fare was less than 10 Dirhams. Turns out the minimum fare is 12 Dirhams. My taxi driver said to me that the bus is behind him and I was rummaging around in my wallet to find some coins. In my haste I must have dropped my phone without noticing. I also did not get a receipt which is customary.
Now Dubai is big, very big and there are a lot of taxis. I got chatting to the guys working for the Hop on Hop off bus until my bus arrived. One feature is free WiFi. This is when I noticed I can’t find my phone. My heart sunk and I knew I must have left it behind in the taxi. I am stuck on a bus heading to the Dubai Mall. I wanted to keep going and do some museum tours but I need to try and find my phone. It contains so much irretrievable data and photos that weren’t backed up. I decided to hop off at the Dubai Mall. Once there I headed to the information center for assistance. The lady there connected me to the RTA and I made a report. My mood was completely ruined. I did not want to keep sightseeing. I just wanted to go back to the Hotel and sulk and hope my phone will miraculously turn up.
I do not know how many times I had to repeat it to myself that it is just a possession these things happen get over it and keep going. I never believed it but I pushed forward with some of the plans I had for the day. My foul mood did not disappear but at least I saw more of what Dubai had to offer. I had driven up to the end of the Palm Islands, once there I hopped off went for a walk. Tried to take in the beauty whilst cringing at the typical heat. I decided I need to keep going and to make sure I am at the Mall of Emirates by 3pm so I can catch the bus to the Miracle Garden.
I went but I was unable to enjoy it. Losing something as stupid as your phone can spoil an entire day. I sincerely hoped my phone would turn up that day but it didn’t. I accepted that it may never turn up. The next day I caught the bus to Abu Dhabi airport. I caught my plane to South Africa. That night I received a message from a friend I made in Dubai that my phone has been found. He was kind enough to courier it to me. The downside was it was being sent to South Africa and it may as well be a third world country. For three weeks my phone was kept in customs. Every time I called them they had the delivery address wrong despite it being updated 5 separate times. They also lied to me several times saying the phone will be released today when it never eventuated. There was also talk that I may have to pay duties and tax on my own personal mobile phone I had owned for awhile which I thought is ridiculous. Luckily my phone was eventually returned to me right before Christmas. Hopefully I have learned my lesson and will be backing everything up on the cloud so I do not lose any memories on this trip.