What started as a fun “study” trip ended on a reckless note and misfortune of a weekend.
The highlights of my overland travel with friends were not the food trips, the walking tours, and the cities’ architectural wonders; rather, the loss of my Sea-to-Summit pouch with cash and cards, and the trip to the Ho Chi Minh police station.
Last June 12, 11:30 PM (Vietnam time), upon alighting the cab at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport for our return flight to Manila, I realized my pouch was not in its usual place in the inside pocket of my camera sling bag. A few flashbacks later, I remembered sitting on the hotel’s lobby couch nursing a headache and an uncomfortable tummy. I remembered taking it out one last time to pull out a dollar for a service tip. I remembered putting it on top of the bag. But, I did not recall placing it back in the bag as I leaned back on the couch and as we hauled our stuff to the waiting cab. With the claim of a friend who thought he might have indeed seen it on the couch, the realization hit me. I left it. On the couch. For the first time, I left something valuable. For the first time, I did not check and recheck.