Day 650 – CHINA (XINJIANG): I don’t go down without a fight

So, I wake up this morning, feeling 100% better after the rough day yesterday of the high fever and feeling generally grotty.

I am hungry however. Very hungry. Time for breakfast. Not enough money in my daily wallet for breakfast. Must suppliment with cash from my document case.

I reach into my luggage. Pull out my document case. Look into the magic money-dispensing envelope…nothing. Nada. Gone. Lock stock, the whole lot.

Mr. DGWSMM. The sneaky blighter. Nicked my cash. I am in a hotel, so I pretend to scream. Open my mouth, suppress a frustrated cry. Then I smile. Very nicely done. Very nicely done indeed, Mr. DGWSMM.

Read yesterday’s post for the whole proceedings that took place yesterday.

I’m not going down without a fight, I decide.

I go to the police. I have a solid case and leads that should lead them to the man. The three people at the reception of the first hotel I went to yesterday must either know the man or have his details. The woman of the hotel I am staying at saw him.

I arrive at the Police Station at 8am in the morning. It is early. The night watch officer is just getting up. He wipes the sleep out of his eyes. In my halting Chinese I explain my money is gone and I need a translator to explain the story. I explain I know who did it.

A wait of 30 minutes and more officers arrive, along with three local college students to help communicate. I get the main details of the case out and and clear with the police. A couple of officers leave to check out the hotels.

Another translator arrives, this time it is the college students’ teacher. Very proficient in English. I am relieved. This time we get a thorough report typed up. I sign it and fingerprint it.

By this time it is lunch time. I am starving. I never got to have breakfast. I am free to go. Instructed to change hotels. The one I am staying in is not for foreigners; just as I had thought.

When I return to the original hotel, the owner is angry. She has been fined 1,000RMB for allowing me to stay. I tell her it’s not my problem. If she wasn’t allowed to let me stay, why did she let me stay?

Anyway, I change hotels. 80RMB (8 Euro) a night at the nice hotel for foreigners for a twin room with ensuite and real matresses. Woohoo.

I return to the police at 4pm. As I enter, one of the officers rubs his fingers together indicating money. They have it. And the guy. Nabbed.

Amazing, these police folk here in small-town China. They’ll drop everything to help the afflicted foreign tourist. Mr. DGWSMM is in handcuffs at the police station. In his wallet is the cash. 2,450RMB (240 Euro / NZ$500), a US$50 note, and the souvineer Uzbek money and Albanian money I have carried with me since a year and a half ago.

There was another US$100 in $50 notes in my document case that was not recovered. So be it. To just have the majority of it back is more than I ever expected at such short notice. Well done, Jinghe Police.

So, what did I learn from this? Nothing that I didn’t know already. The fact of the matter was that I was not in a right state of mind yesterday. I made mistakes. Dumb mistakes. Too trusting. At least it had a happy ending.

So I’ll be staying in Jinghe tomorrow also, since today was a write-off. Need to get the website updated.

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