On Sunday, 11 February 2018 cities in the south of the Netherlands were celebrating Carnival days. I came with an impulsive- sudden plan to see the carnival with Mbak Diana, my Indonesian fellow student. We came up with a plan to go to Nijmegen, or further south to Den Bosch, Tilburg, or Breda.
We got off the train in Nijmegen, but we saw more people in hilarious costumes were getting on the train. So, we thought maybe better to go south right away. So, we took another train to Roosendaal and got off in Tilburg.
Just a few seconds after getting off the train, I noticed that my wallet was not in my pocket. Most of the time I kept my phone and wallet in my jacket pockets. But, that time I also had two portable lamps for my bike, two sets of keys, and lollipops. My pocket was a bit crowded that I did not realize one of them was missing.
I had no idea since when or how I lost it. It could be on the bus from Wageningen to Ede-Wageningen station, or the train to Nijmegen, or the train to Tilburg. There could be some possibilities.
If you travel by train, contact NS Customer service
I was calm enough to step to a corner and checked my bag with the help from Mbak Di. Nothing. My wallet was missing.
Luckily, I could still think clearly. I talked to NS staff about my situation and he suggested me to go to OV Ticket and Service Shop in Tilburg Station. I explained what happened and he made me a call to NS customer service to check whether someone found the wallet and gave it back to the NS office. NS has an online system to register any found objects on the train and station. I called twice on Sunday, and still nothing.
If you forgot or lost your stuff on the train or station, call the NS customer service. There’s a chance that somebody found it and deliver it to NS staff. Found objects will be registered in the system. Better to call them as soon as you lost your stuff. You’ll get a reference number, and just mention it when you call them again so you won’t have to repeat your story again and again.
Block your Bank card(s)
I never know that blocking a bank card would be that easy, all by myself. I was calling my bank with my left hand, and NS with my right hand when Mbak Di said that I could actually block my card using mobile bank apps ( I use ABN Amro).
I opened my mobile banking apps, and it was easy peasy and took less than 5 minutes! So, you’d better know how to block your card(s) in case of an emergency like this. After blocking the bank cards, at least you could limit the damages that might happen.
Check websites for Lost and Found objects
Despite the misfortune I encountered that day, I decided to still enjoy the day. I have traveled that far from Wageningen not to go home without anything I could remember from the carnival except that I lost my wallet. So, we went to the police station to ask what I should do before going to see the carnival. All of my IDs were in that wallet, except my OV chipkaart which I (still) regarded as a fortune, at least I had one less trouble that day.
In Indonesia, when you lost your ID soon you’ll need to make a police report to make a new one. Again, I told the police officer about my situation. He suggested me to wait for 24 or 48 hours before making a Police report. There are also possibilities that somebody might return my wallet to the municipality (gemeente). But it was Sunday, gemeente closed and everyone was in the mood for carnival. Maybe it would be delivered the next day.
In the meantime, he suggested me to check two Dutch websites for lost and found; iLost.co (in English) and verlorenofgevonden.nl (in Dutch). I had another routine on that Sunday afternoon: checking lost and found websites. haha.
On Monday, on iLost.co I saw a wallet which (I thought) looked exactly like mine found by Gemeente Nijmegen! That’s mine! That’s exactly mine. It must have fallen in Nijmegen and somebody found it. yeayy. I quickly made a claim for that wallet. I was relieved, hat I could not stop looking at the picture with my happy face as if it was already confirmed. My hope was skyrocketing.
Sadly, after several communications with the Gemeente staff, he told me that it was NOT mine. I was startled. How come? It was a really close coincidence: the timing, the appearance of my wallet, and where it was found.
But I am a persistent person. I somehow had a feeling that I left my wallet somewhere, rather than being stolen. So, I gathered some other possibilities. I sent emails to all Gemeente where my train passed, with the hope that someone did find it and returned it there. All the Gemeente officers referred me to those two websites for lost and found. Apparently those two websites are a national portal and connecting many gemeente and institutions such as museums, public transportation operators, etc. So, when you lost your stuff, there’s a chance that you might see it posted there.
Make a Police report
Right after I got the confirmation from Gemeente Nijmegen, I called police office station in Wageningen. The police office here opens only twice a week, Wednesday and Saturday. I wanted to make an appointment to file a police report. The officer asked me some details; where I lost it, whether it was lost or stolen. I said I had no idea. But, then she said a police report is only for the case of theft, not when you lost it for the cause of your own. In my case, I can’t make a police report. I only need to go to Gemeente where I live, that is Wageningen, to request a new permit. Period.
No way! I’m going to rip my own bank account for unnecessary 300 euro to make a new resident permit and other cards. Not to mention all the fuss, time and energy I have to spend to sort out my IDs, especially my permit. But yeah, whatever happens, happens.
How I finally found it
Remember that I filed for a search request for NS customer service? Yes, that was on Sunday. And until Wednesday afternoon, I was too focused on checking the lost and found websites and waiting for responses from gemeente. I forgot that I should also come back to NS! So, I quickly made a call to NS customer service.
“Wait a moment. I’m going to check it……. (several minuter later)….Miss Saaa-fi-tri.. Miss Sa-fi-tri…. Jaa! Your wallet is found! You have to collect it at Roosendaal Central Station,’’ oh that was the most beautiful voice I’ve ever heard for the last few days.
Somebody did find it and delivered it to Roosendaal central station! When I got it back, everything was intact. It was like magic. I mean, If I lost it in Indonesia, I’m pretty sure I would never get it back. And yes, I am a lucky person! But, remember I did all the things I could. I traced all the possibilities and did all my best. However, I have to admit that the Netherlands has indeed genius systems and nice people. My wallet would never reunite with me if the system is absent or the people who found it was not nice enough to take a little time to give it back to NS.
Another post about how I lost my iPhone and how I got it back again is here (in Bahasa Indonesia).