It’s easy to forget that not everywhere is as safe as Singapore.
But to have that be reminded three times in a 4-day trip away from our shores is truly excessive.
A couple, Eugene Aathar and Dolly Ho, have a certain fondness for Bali in recent years, visiting the place once or twice a year. This is, however, their first time meeting such misfortune.
Case 1- Snatch Theft
Snatch theft is one of the most common forms of crime in Southeast Asia and is the start of the misadventure.
At 2 am on 6 May (Monday), the couple was returning to their villa on a rented scooter, with Aathar in front while Ho rode pillion as she consulted Google Maps on her Samsung S10.
Another pair then rode up on the scooter. One of the men snatched the smartphone from Ho and kicked their scooter so the couple fell off. At this point, Ho lost consciousness.
Case 2- Robbery
As Aathar was crying out for help, a man approached him seemingly well-intentioned.
The opportunist asked Aathar where his scooter was, which he promptly rode off on after Aathar pointed it out. This not only robbed them of the scooter which they had rented from their villa (La Vie Villa) for 125000 rupiah (about $12) but also the 12 million rupiah (about $1,140) that they stored in it.
Aathar and his wife managed to hitch a ride on a passing van to the Siloam Hospital Denpasar.
Case 3- Harassment
Aathar sustained minor injuries, and Ho a concussion and a broken shoulder.
While she was being warded for observation, the villa decided that there was no need to be a fellow victim in this situation.
In the epitome of good customer service, they sent employees down to threaten the couple by stopping them from leaving the country if they didn’t pay 250 million rupiah (about $23,700) as compensation for the stolen motorcycle.
Eventually, Aathar paid them 12 million rupiah (about $1,140).
Thankfully, the couple had the good sense to insure themselves before their vacation, which footed the cost of a doctor to escort Ho on the flight back to Singapore since she wasn’t cleared to fly without one.
Upon reaching Singapore, she was sent to the National University Hospital (NUH) and was discharged just 2 days ago (13 May, Monday).
Through this, it’s nice to know that the couple still retains their wanderlust. But they do have a few tips to avoid another episode.
As reported here, their suggestions are:
- Try to travel in larger groups at night
- Don’t hold your valuables in your hand, keep them in your bag
- If possible, take a car instead of a scooter
- Always remember to buy travel insurance
Stay safe on your ventures!
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