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Why I was robbed

Hobo Travel Tips
By Andy the HoboTraveler.Com

ISSUE:  076
DATE:  July 17, 2002
TIP:  Why I was robbed
LOCATION:  Koh Chang, Thailand - Near Ranong or Burma




and solution.

A good answer is found
in a well defined question.

Why I was robbed?

First the Joke Answer.
Thailand made a decision to remove my
best claim to fame. 4 years of travel and
not robbed. It is a conspiracy... (Joke)

Are Thailand people thieves?
Am I stupid?
Did I make a mistake?
Was I in the wrong spot and the wrong time?
Why did I have my money in the backpack?
Why was I not able to anticipate this and
prevent me getting robbed.
Was I robbed?

When - What - Where
Who and Why?

July 2nd, more less. 2002

About 75 United States Dollars.
They left the ATM cards. Credit Card,
and Passport. They even left 1000 Baht
The may have taken 1000 Baht. The Baht
is the name of Thailand Currency.

On the car, and/or bus ferry or boat.
Traveling from the Island of Koh Samui to
the mainland and the city of Surat Thani.

Who robbed me?
That is the ugly feeling of getting robbed.
Who is to blame? Should I blame someone?
In the end, blame does not do much good.
But in this TIP I will try to break down the blame
and possible answers to the question of
Who robbed me?

I do not know who robbed me?
This is only speculation to help me and you
not get robbed again or in the future. I will try
to give some explanations to help prevent and
show why this happened.

I may have lost the money.
I am still hoping to find it in some strange corner of
my pack. I would rather have the money.
There will always be a guilty party,
and a person in every country that want to rob me.
I lost the money permanently.

Some people are gloating, and saying.
“He thinks he is an experienced traveler,
He is not so smart. He got robbed.”
Ergo... Just another idiot American,

Now. Those are the ideas and thoughts of a person
that gets robbed a lot. If you believe you are smart.
Too smart for this to happen to you, then your are too
smart and should stay at home. No perfect world,
perfect country, or perfect traveler exist. I have a dream
of the perfect woman, but I heard she was looking for the
perfect man. So I am out of luck.

A perfect being or person is a Buddha or a God.
I am positive I am not God.

Get the point yet.
Getting robbed is normal.
Not getting robbed is abnormal.
So lets be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

Think Andy? What happened? Why?
I am mentally walking myself through some of my ways of
doing things, that may have lead up to this happening.

I have systems or rules I follow.
Some of you know the saying,
“A place for everything and everything in its place.”

That is a guide, or rule of thumb.
I recommend that, and hopefully one day....
Over the rainbow. I will learn to put all things in its proper place.

1. Money neck bag goes around neck when traveling
from one location to another.
2. When not around neck. It is located in either
A. Green front pack.
B. Top zippered sections of large backpack.
3. Do not hide the money neck bag.
(I will forget it and leave it behind, or forget where I hid it)
4. Do not give my money bag to anyone, for any reason.
I do not give my bag to the Hotel Owners to hold and protect.
5. Watch where they load your backpack in a bus.
6. Sit on the side of the bus, that is above the compartment
where the backpack is store. (So you can see if leave...hehehe)
7. Never leave a bus, without taking your backpack.
8. Credit cards go on one side of billfold (Wallet),
money on other. This is so I count it quickly.
9. One credit card or ATM in Billfold (Wallet for you Europeans).
Other in money bag.
10. Carry credit cards in separate locations.
Carry credit cards and passport in separate locations.
11. Carry your billfold in secret pocket.

1, 7, 8, 10, 11

1 2, 8, 10

A good rule for yourself Is followed,
accepted and not violated.
If there is always an exception to the rule.
Either you need to accept that the rule is flawed a little
and there are lots of exceptions. Or if you can,
adopt a new rule that is easier, and clear. And does
not cause you the temptation to be violated.

Rules I violate on a regular basis, are against my
basic human nature. Not your basic human nature.
MY human nature. Or things that are comfortable for me.
The saying,
“A place for everything and everything in its place.”
Is impossible for me to do.
I did not say hard to do, It is IMPOSSIBLE that I will
put things back in their place. I can pay people to do this.
But if you think I am capable of putting things away
all the time. IMPOSSIBLE... It will not happen.
Some people can do this easily with no problem.
It is part of their nature.
Not mine.

Some people hate rules.
I think I am one of them.
But over time, and with maturity.
I have accepted that rules are good.
Laws are good. They keep people from hurting
each other, and abusing each others.
OF COURSE there are rules, and laws that are bad.
That is why they are always trying to make
new ones or change them.
To make them better.

If you are a person that hates rules,
and you find yourself breaking your own
rules or guideline... GET therapy.
NO... Joke
Try asking yourself in a kinder way.
Saying something like,
“I will TRY to put everything away.”
You may find cooperation with yourself.
And NOT a rebellion toward your FATHER,
Mother, Church, School Teacher, Wife or
Husband. These are people
that normally make rules, and people have
learned to reject anything that resembles
them or sounds like their words.

The other thing I might say is three step program.
1. Listen up.
2. Shut Up,
3. Grow Up.

Do as you may. All this is for fun and help.
Opinions to guide. The people that say,
“The guidebook is always wrong.”
I worry about. There is a problem in this
comment. The guidebook is full of opinions
and is generally correct. And one exception
is not a reason to throw it away.
I often say little things that irritate people.
Sort in fun, and to try to let people know.
I am human, fallible, and like to joke.
I like to talk about Peanut Butter. It just totally
irritates lots of countries. Because there are
trendy and fashionable opinions about
people that eat peanut butter, or countries that
have peanut butter. Like somehow peanut butter
is an indication of intelligence. Seem real real stupid
to me...What does peanuts have to do with intelligence?
Deriving these types of ideas are the height of
fashion, and not of critical thinking.

So why would I talk about peanut butter?
People that do not like me for this reason.
And unsubscribe to this newsletter for being
annoyed by this, should unsubscribe.
I do not want them sitting around making
a list of reason why I am an idiot.
I am absolutely positive. I say stupid things.
It does not do them any good to dwell on this.
They need to find another person, they respect
and think is intelligent to GUIDE them and
tell them.
Listen up, Shut up, Grow up... hehehe
Get a grip on the rules.
The will never end.


1. Money neck bag goes around neck when traveling
from one location to another.

The day I got robbed, was hot, sticky, and a day
where taking showers, and less clothing is better.
A day where any excuse to take off a few clothes
will be used. I had on light shorts and a T-shirt.
Sandals. I did not even want to wear my gym shoes.
I was only going for a 1-2 hour boat ride. I was not
going to be on the boat for 10 hours.

A money belt or neck pouch is not natural.
A pocket is natural. That is why I sell secret

But there are reason why a money belt
and neck pouch are good. They keep all
of your things in one place. Tickets, money,
and other valuables. The words MONEY BELT
makes a person remember. This is important.
A pocket is normal and hard to be taken serious.

I do not like to wear my neck pouch also,
because it make me feel fat. It grows full of
miscellaneous papers, and gets bigger.
Wearing it make my shirt bulge out, and
if really heavy makes my neck hurt.

MY excuse...I also was only going for short
trip, and did not call it traveling. I had ALL my
stuff. But a two hour boat trip, made me relax
and not be so serious.

All these excuses got me robbed.

11. Carry your billfold in secret pocket.

This day. I had on these nylon lightweight shorts.
I put my billfold in the pocket to leave.
It was so heavy. It made my pants fall down.
Stuck out in this soft material. I use these shorts
for casual wear, and for the beach. I carry cash
and my keys in the secret pocket. Not a billfold.
Not good shorts for a heavy billfold. Kick Boxing and the
beach, but are not formal clothes.

I therefore put the billfold or wallet back into
the neck pouch. Then everything was together.
I put the neck pouch back into the top of the large
backpack as rule number 2 permits for myself.
I consider this better than the small backpack.
If someone is strong enough to grab my big
backpack and run away quickly. They deserve
the headache... The little one is easier. I keep
a foot constantly in that one, or hooked to me.

8. Credit cards go on one side of billfold, money on other.

I was lazy. I did not separate my credit
card from the money when I put it back in the
small two fold wallet. This save me though.
Because money was on both sides.
All the credit cards, and ATM cards on
the other. But the person stole the money
that was not enmeshed in the cards.
Left the cards, and did not take all the money.
Just 95 percent... hehehe

This rule is to help me check how much money
I have easily. A large wallet is easier. But is
even more likely to be carried in a bad spot.
Because of the size. I carry a small bi-fold holder.
A wallet is not necessary. Women do not always
have one....

10. Carry credit cards in separate locations.
Carry credit cards and passport in separate locations.

I did not have the money separated from
the passport for the above reason of wearing
these red lightweight shorts.
I did not have the credit cards separated because
in reality. I often do not have enough secret pockets.
In the past. I only put pocket in my pants. I am not
adopting a new system, and you will read further
down in the solutions.

7. Never leave a bus, without taking your backpack.

This normally applies to my small front pack.
I did carry this with me. If I would have put
the neck pouch into this bag, and not the
large bag. I would not have been writing this
newsletter on this theft.

When riding a bus. We stop at rest stops
for a short time. We stop at immigration for
a short time. We get off the bus, and almost
immediately get back on the bus. I can almost
count the time when I got off a bus, and left
for a long period of time. In a prior newsletter
I complained about the company Ormeno in
South America. We was off the bus for over
an hour at the immigration office between
Bolivia and Peru. This was OK, in lots of way.
But they allowed vendors to get on the bus
to ride, and did not allow the passengers.
There was no way to protect my bag.
I had my bag with me, and was safe.
But a lot of people left valuables on that bus.

This bus was not normal to Surat Thani from Koh Samui.
It was a bus that loaded onto a Ferry.
I thought we was getting on the bus.
Sitting in the bus, and crossing the river.
We got in the bus. Got on the Ferry,
the when on the water. We all got off the bus
and went to the top deck.

I was talking with another foreigner.
Was feeling happy, and comfortable.
Was not thinking about money. Enjoying
the trip, and did not check.
The big backpack was available to anyone
on the bus that sat in the back. This was
a weird bus. The loaded the bag in the very
rear of the bus. But it was also accessible from
the upper part of the bus, if you wanted to reach
down and grab it. This was good in a way,
because I was sitting in the back of the bus
and could watch it the whole way across the

BUT, when we unloaded from the bus
and went up on the deck to ride while the
boat made the trip. All the rules changed.
I did not anticipate this happening.

The bus driver. The people that collect money.
The whole bus was open. Anyone on the
boat that could enter the bus, could get to
my bag. On hindsight I knew this, and did
not think, or take proper care.

I instantly checked my money when I took
the bag off the bus, at the end of the trip.
I thought it was a little different than packed
because my shower bag was in front of the
money pouch. But the wallet, passport and
such was there....THEY did NOT steal
the wallet. They just took the money.
If they would have taken the wallet.
I would have been screaming at this point.

This is the method of Maids or Cleaning
people in your Hotel. They do not take
anything big. You can have 10 separate
bills or local currency in your wallet or
money belt. They do not take it all.
The only take one or two bills.
They are depending on you not knowing
how much money you have exactly.

This crime was done in this fashion.
They left some Baht or normal money of Thailand,
but took all the USA bills. If there was a dispute
or I discovered the theft. Everyone could
say.... Ah... he just does not remember how
much he had, he has some money. Look.
Same type and methodology as a cleaning
person in a room.

Smart thieves. Probably do it all the time.
THE FERRY between Koh Samui and
Surat Thani. Think this is cruel. If they are
not doing it good. If they are. Then people
will just be extra careful.
Being too cautious is better then being

If you travel. If you go to strange places.
If you do thing adventurous. You will have
unanticipated things happen. I love the spontaneity
of my life, and this is just a minor headache.
If they would have stolen my computer and
camera I would had more problem. I was carrying
that with me, I placed more value on that than
my money or passport. Those can be replaced
and have not real sentimental value.

My computer and camera are more
difficult, and often the computer has large
amounts of information that has not been
sent to the internet or published.
Not backed up, as they would say.

In the end. Comfort is an enemy.
When you do not think you are in danger.
This is when you are most likely to be robbed.
Make your rules always apply.
Safe country or dangerous.

Here in Thailand, there is a different
saying going around by the travelers.
“You are more likely to get robbed by
another traveler, then a person from Thailand.”
This is a generalization, and is good to
remember. The converse is maybe true
in Mexico, Central, and South America.
But in reality. People are people.
There are thefts in all countries.

Here is a link to help other avoid your
mistakes. Submit a theft explanation.

Plan to be robbed.
Make preparation for when you are robbed.

After you accept that you will be robbed
you will look at things and plan accordingly.
I have said many times in the past.
It not whether my computer and camera
will be robbed, It is when?
I guarantee I will have all my things stolen
and I will get to write about that also in the future.
I hope when I happens. I have more money
and could afford the pain.

Some people learn from their mistakes.
Some people learn from other peoples mistakes.
Some people just do not learn.

I am going to learn from my mistakes this time.
The newsletter is so you can learn from my mistakes
and I can help give you tips to avoid them.
I here comments,
“Thailand is safe,
Europe is safer.”
aaaagh... ack... give me a break”
In my opinion more people get robbed of
a lot more money in Europe because they
think they are safe.

Somewhere in your mind needs
do be a little bird that is always thinking
and vigilant. Anticipating every possible
problem, and situations. So you can prevent
the problem. In the end. We do learn from
our mistakes, and try to not repeat them.

Experience is a good teacher.
I always am reading, and asking questions.
Lots of other travelers think I am stupid.
“He do not know anything, he ask so many question.”

I have talked about taking people on custom
tours. Being your guide, and having fun.
A lot of the story above, and a lot of the solutions
I am talking about can be applied and
use to help you choose a guide or
a tour company. If everything seem to good.
If everything seem too safe. Maybe they will not
let you out of the RESORT.

Someone wrote me and said,
“Andy, you tell me things, my travel
agent will not tell me. They always say,
whatever you do,
Do not leave the resort.”
She went on to say,
“I want to leave the resort.”

Ask questions of your agent?
Ask questions of your guide?
Do they understand the nature of getting
Do they anticipate, and plan on getting
Or it only American Express Traveler
checks that know.
You will be robbed. Their whole business
is planned on the idea of your being robbed.
Everytime a person gets robbed,
they get more customers.
I carry an ATM card.

I am still looking for people to take people
with me to the really exotic and wild places.
Deep into Africa.
On the Amazon.
Climb or get to the top of a mountain.
Everything is possible.
Dream of adventure.

The solution is to step back and see
what changes I need to make.
I am not going to say I made a mistake.
I am going to focus on the solution.
Nobody that gets robbed makes a mistake.
It just happened. They did not plan it.

I have some HOLES in my rules.
I need to accept some things,
I am in denial....
Of a lot of issue, but lets focus on the
solution at hand.
I am trying to pretend. I like this money
pouch. I do like it more than a money belt.
But the reality is. I do not like it.
I do not like having anything around my neck.
(I could make a lot of joke here.)

I do like my SECRET POCKETS more
than my neck pouch. But they are not the
whole solution. I do not want to have 2-4
extra pockets in my lightweight beach gear.

So, I am thinking.
Dangerous for me, and the world.

1. Always wear the same pants to travel.
2. Use the secret pockets.
3. Put the Passport in a Ziplock bag.
4. Check the money.

1. Always wear the same pants to travel.
I am going to designate 2 pairs of pants.
MY Travel Pants.
One pair of shorts, and one pair of long pants.
I will prepare them for BEAR.
I will have all the gadgets, and pockets
and thinks I need in them.
I wish I could just buy them, but I find the
travel pants I see. Just that. Travel pants.
Look at me. I have travel pants, and I am
a foreigner. These cost money so rob me.


2. Use more than one secret pockets.

I took my secret pockets and had lots of them
sown into the 2 designated travel pants.

3. Put the Passport in a Ziplock bag.
Should have been doing this all along.
So far I am lucky, but there is a lot of
water in Thailand. Time to get serious.
Plus if I am going to put my passport in
a different location. It is can get wet easier.

NEW - Maybe
4. Check the money.
I will vow to check my money more.
Make sure, how much, where is it.
Especially when I am carrying all my things.
I am sure I will not do this as good as I should
but at least I will feel guilty, and do it a little better
than before.

I think this is part of the
Grow up, or third step in my
3 step self help program.

Life is an adventure, and every place
I go, a different story. Everyone like
to hear a wild and exotic story. Something
to laugh about, remember and tell your
friends. Some real laugh out loud stories.

I have friends write and say,
“Andy, that story was good,
now I know you, there is more to the story,
tell me the complete story.”

This is the edited version folks.
For the full on version.
You need to come visit, and
we can make some memories.
That place that now,
only exist only in your dreams.

Just another day in Paradise!
Be a Hobo, and leave your mark.

X was HERE!

Life is good.

As always, these are suggestions. Please realize I am
giving guidance, and there are always other opinions.
“One mans paradise, is another mans hell”
This way we do not all go to the same place.

Article written by Andy the
On year 5 of Hobo trip around the world.
Budget Travel, Jobs, and Adventure, etc
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Hello, Here is a Travel Tip written by Andy of Why I was robbed