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> Padang Bus Scam?, Missing luggage suddenly turns up - reward asked.
donmiller
post Apr 18 2009, 08:15 AM
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I took the local bus from Padang to Buttiggi (sp?) this afternoon. It was a 15 person Van filled up. I watched my luggage being but into the storage area behind the back seat. After the 3 hour trip. We got out at the end bus stop, and my luggage was gone. No one spoke English nor had any idea what the problem was. A Taxi tout finally translated to the driver. He just shrugged but the taxi guy got him to take me to the local "office" Just a few locals hanging out in a fenced parking lot. The driver disappeared and was never seen again. 30 minutes later I asked for a status from the people that were standing around and seeming to be pretty jovial. They finally said the luggage was at another office. No other explanation. Luckily my luggage was there. Two motor bike drivers and various taxi touts and mysterious other people were there. From the broken translation, the motor bikers "found" the luggage and drove it there. It appears to have been unopened. They wanted a 200k R reward ($22). It was very weird. The luggage appears unopened and they still seemed to know where to bring it. It could have been a trip ending problem. My remaining money and passport were in there. (I know, I know, But I can't carry everything with me at all times). I ended up having to give up 100k R to get it back.

Anyone ever hear of this? Was I scammed or one lucky soul today. (Both?)

Don
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starlagurl
post Apr 20 2009, 10:38 AM
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I have heard of something similar as this happening to someone, but I can't remember what forum it was in... can anyone remember?


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aopaq
post Apr 20 2009, 06:45 PM
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I would say you were probably scammed (although $11 is not a huge amount) and lucky, especially since you could have lost your passport.
I understand about not being able to carry everything with you at all times, but I am curious as to what you were carrying that was more important than your passport and some emergency $? I would think there are not many nightmares worse than being stuck in a foreign country with neither of those.
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wakingdream
post Apr 25 2009, 12:49 PM
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Scammed is my guess too.

QUOTE
I understand about not being able to carry everything with you at all times, but I am curious as to what you were carrying that was more important than your passport and some emergency $? I would think there are not many nightmares worse than being stuck in a foreign country with neither of those.


No offense, but I'd say you're nuts to leave your cash and pp anywhere but on your person. Doesn't take up that much room, plus not worth ending a trip over. I bet your heart nearly pounded out of your chest., You're lucky. I bet you'll never leave your pp and cash again smile.gif Glad to hear you got your stuff back.


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donmiller
post Apr 29 2009, 07:47 PM
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Thanks. I am pretty sure it was a scam the more I think about it.

An ATM in Thailand decided to keep my ATM so all I had was a credit card left and my money belt with my emergency cash. I was planning to go to Burma so I had to keep the dollars as pristeen as possible. I am 6 feet tall and my experience with Asian public transportation is that it is cramped hot and sweaty. I didn't want to risk wrecking the bills.

I have experience with third world scams. The scarriest one being befriended by a stranger on the bus, sharing food, getting drugged and losing all the stuff you are carrying. Happened to a friend of mine in Africa and she lost everything. I watched them put the bag on the bus so I was more comfortable with it off of my person and trusted the bus driver to control the bag given my experience with them at their office. Can't win I guess.

I am home now and no worse for wear and tear.

Thanks for your response.




QUOTE(aopaq @ Apr 20 2009, 06:45 PM) *

I would say you were probably scammed (although $11 is not a huge amount) and lucky, especially since you could have lost your passport.
I understand about not being able to carry everything with you at all times, but I am curious as to what you were carrying that was more important than your passport and some emergency $? I would think there are not many nightmares worse than being stuck in a foreign country with neither of those.

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aopaq
post Apr 30 2009, 01:34 AM
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QUOTE(donmiller @ Apr 29 2009, 08:47 PM) *

I was planning to go to Burma so I had to keep the dollars as pristeen as possible. I am 6 feet tall and my experience with Asian public transportation is that it is cramped hot and sweaty. I didn't want to risk wrecking the bills.

I don't know if this will help for future reference but I usually bring small ziploc bags that I can put money or my passport in to keep them dry while in my money belt under the conditions you describe.

Anyway, glad to hear everything worked out. Looks like you had an awesome trip!
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raniroo
post Apr 30 2009, 03:02 AM
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Definately a scam!

but I also agree that cash and passport are the two most important things to keep on you....ziploc bags work wonders. too....you were very lucky to get it back and get out of the reward so cheaply....


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wakingdream
post Apr 30 2009, 10:49 AM
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QUOTE
The scarriest one being befriended by a stranger on the bus, sharing food, getting drugged and losing all the stuff you are carrying.


Wow, now that is scary! It's things like these to keep in mind. It's hard though if you're a trusting person and like interacting with others. Which travelers don't? You think you're having a good time and meeting new people and then something like that happens. I think that's what turns some people paranoid......It's hard to not be overly cautious when something like that happens but I think in life we can either be careful or be paranoid.


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salemk
post Sep 5 2009, 07:45 PM
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This is one of the main reasons I will never go back to Indonesia.
99% of indonesians are out to scam & rip you off. I think I found 2 people that were not trying to take my money in some way.
The bag scam I came across was being asked to pay extra for bag insurance after I had already paid for my bus ticket. I was stuck knowing it was a scam and not having a choice. If I say no will they make sure my bag disappears. If I pay I'm only reinforcing their continued scamming of tourist.
Bali was the worse. Everyone charging X5 what the price should have been. So if you start the bargaining at 1/2 the asking price they are already ripping you off.
Sunglass are $2
Swimware $2
2 tank SCUBA dives $25
The more I think about Indonesia the more I hate it.
I was on one island, Labuhanbajo where we had people sleeping outside our rooms so they could follow us around all day to sell us something or anything. Airplane tickets, Komodo Dragon tours on Rinka, which you don't need because the admission price covers a guide at the park. Buss tickets. Anything, it sucked and we finally had to be rude to them and tell them to get away from us. It ruined that island.


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wandering_man
post Jan 24 2010, 12:27 AM
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QUOTE(salemk @ Sep 5 2009, 08:45 PM) *

This is one of the main reasons I will never go back to Indonesia.
99% of indonesians are out to scam & rip you off. I think I found 2 people that were not trying to take my money in some way.
The bag scam I came across was being asked to pay extra for bag insurance after I had already paid for my bus ticket. I was stuck knowing it was a scam and not having a choice. If I say no will they make sure my bag disappears. If I pay I'm only reinforcing their continued scamming of tourist.
Bali was the worse. Everyone charging X5 what the price should have been. So if you start the bargaining at 1/2 the asking price they are already ripping you off.
Sunglass are $2
Swimware $2
2 tank SCUBA dives $25
The more I think about Indonesia the more I hate it.
I was on one island, Labuhanbajo where we had people sleeping outside our rooms so they could follow us around all day to sell us something or anything. Airplane tickets, Komodo Dragon tours on Rinka, which you don't need because the admission price covers a guide at the park. Buss tickets. Anything, it sucked and we finally had to be rude to them and tell them to get away from us. It ruined that island.


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I spent four months in Indonesia, two months in Lombok, one in Bali, and one in Java. Salemk had a far more unpleasant experience than I did. The people I met were extremely hospitable, invited me into their homes for meals, taught me rudimentary Bahsa Indonesian, and other than one bad experience in Bandung (partially my fault, I had grown too comfortable and did not pay attention to the obvious warning signs) I have nothing but fond memories of lovely people.

I have seen many travelers exude attitude (I am not referring to you, donmiller, but perhaps salemk) and they geting it repaid back in spades. There was one taxi driver in Ubud who kept asking me "Taxi, taxi?" after I had passed three other taxis and declined. I asked him if he saw me decline the other three, to which he replied "Yes". I asked him why he solicited me, and he said "It is 1900 hours, I have been at work since 1100, I have only had one fare for 20,000 rupiah, I have four children. Also, this is my job". Later that night he offered me some of his Arak that he was swilling with other off duty taxi drivers, and refused to let me pay for it.

So the traveler's attitude in such situations can turn a hassle into an insight and a new friend. Having said this for the benefit of another, it sounds like you, donmiller, got scammed. So the lesson I took from your story is to see my bag loaded and inside the transport at the time of boarding AND departure. Hope the rest of your trip as as fulfilling as mine.
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rheinard
post May 17 2010, 09:52 PM
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Hello,

I don't think you were scammed, because I know padangnese, they are good people. Your luggage might be dropped by someone who was trying to unload his bag. After you reported it, somenone had traversed back the route and found it. Lucky you.

You will not be scammed for only Rp. 100K-200K. It is mere pittance.

If you have bad things when visitting indonesia yo can go to the police or threathen to do so to deter the scammers. The only problem is that indonesian police officer may not speak english very well, but they surely help you.

Indonesia is excellent tourist destination, all you have to do to enjoy your visit to Indonesia is information how to deal with problems: scammers, corruption, touts, hawkers etc. Yeah, Indonesia needs improvements.

Pease do not generalize your unfortunate incidents.

Cheer.


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capecinnamon
post Nov 11 2011, 05:57 AM
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I'm living and studying in Indonesia and it's a very interesting experience that I will always treasure and never forget...but everyday I experience the same thing even with people who see me everyday...prices are daily inflated when they hear you speak English and people are almost always trying to rip you off...I argue with people in restaurants far too often...it's quite draining actually...Some of them will even see you walk away and get nothing from you without adjusting their arrogant sense of greed in the moment and just at least getting what is expected from the locals...I am not a tourist and come from a developing nation myself...the constant lack of integrity with regards to this issue really irritates me...and daily...
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