Robbed in France


Robbed in France
by Jahanshah Javid

My backpack was stolen on the train from Toulouse to Marseille yesterday. I still can't believe it. I was sleeping in the second-class section. It was a four hour trip. I would wake up read my book, look at the beautiful landscape, take some pictures and doze off again. When the train reached Toulouse I reached up to grab my backpack and it wasn't there.

I was in shock. I have lost many things in my life. I lost my wallet on my last trip to Europe two Christmases ago. Clumsy I certainly am. But never ever has something been stolen from me. And who would expect it would happen in France?

I had my new Apple laptop in there. My U.S. passport. My hand-written phonebook which I've had for 17 years. My four green shirts and t-shirts which I took to Paris in solidarity with the July 25th Green Movement rally. Gifts from the Guggenheim museum in Blibao for my relatives in Nice. A pack of condoms. Everything!

Just that morning before I got on the train on the border of France and Spain, I took pictures of the backpack for a later photo essay. It was just like the one above, only the color was crimson-ish instead of blue. I was so impressed with it. It so many compartments and convenient features. I loved it. I had borrowed it from one my nephews.

As soon as I got off the train I rushed to the police office. They looked at me as if they had not had a case of robbery on the train in years. Or maybe they were reacting strange because of my t-shirt which had written on it. In any case, I showed them the picture of the backpack too.

Passport. They wanted my passport. I said my passport was in the backpack. American. I took out my wallet and showed them my California driver's license. Maybe I should not have said anything about being an American. Being an American is not what it used to be.

One of the officers opened a folder and looked up the contact info for the American consulate. I said don't you want to write a stolen property report? No, we need a passport. I said you don't want to write down anything for your own records that a passenger on your train was a victim of a crime? No, we need a passport. That's unbelievable to to me. So it seems in its annual report the Mareseille police station shows fewer actual crimes because cases like mine never make their way into the books. Neat trick.

Then I went to the lost and found office. I filled out a form with my contact info in case anyone had taken my backpack by mistake. You never know. As I was filling out the report, this guy and his girlfriend walked in. Listen to this: he said he had lost his SUNGLASSES on the train not today, three days ago. I compared my situation and his and wanted to smack him in the head.

I'm in Nice with my relatives now. Everything is under control. will be updated shortly and a new computer is on its way. I will call the American consulate the first thing in the morning. I will buy some clothes; I will not walk on the beach wearing! Or maybe I will. Iranians were seen one way before the election and are now seen another way. They've earned respect.


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Sorry to hear that JJ

by ramintork on

I hope the rest of your trip would be fun and safe.

Shazde Asdola Mirza

Welcome to the club France: where arabs steal whatever you got!

by Shazde Asdola Mirza on

Half of people I know who have taken trains or subways in France have been robbed or mugged! Welcome to the clube francais - it is only second to Italy.

Yadam Beh-Khair

Wenger SwissGear SERGE Computer Backpack

by Yadam Beh-Khair on

JJ here is a similar backpack on sale on, Item#: 11921793.  $44.99 plus $2.95 Shipping. OR

this one is the identical one //

on sale on for $29.99 free shipping.


Fadaayeh saret...

by ThePope on

etefaaghieh keh oftaadeh! Don't think about it too much,,, just continue on with your journey & enjoy your trip.

But, you should still be carefull; there are plenty of "Arsène Lupin" in Marseille.


ajab badbiari!

by Monda on

I am so sorry to hear about this JJ.

When you recover from the trauma, check this out if you have time:


I hope the remainder of your trip turns out wonderful. 


BTW what is this

by Anonymouse on

BTW what is this about having a backpack?  Why not one of those rolling cases, backpacks can roll too.  And the napsacks around your waist is just as bad as toobrehs, but they'll work.  You'll look like a snake who has swallowed a hunt and trying to digest it!

Everything is sacred.

Fouzul Bashi

Be careful JJ

by Fouzul Bashi on

That sure is a bummer but didn't your friends tell you about it before you head out to Marseille?! South of France is known for this stuff and apparently your friend Darius knew it too. Next time why don't you talk to your friends and tell them a little about your plans. They might have insight that would help!

Also you can buy one of those hip purses! you wrap it around your butt and keep your papers and your money with you all the time. It's not like a toobreh and it's even less attractive, then you won't even need to carry condoms around. he he he



You will be OK, JJ!

by farshadjon on

Sorry to hear that, JJ!Some of personal belongings do not have that much value (not big bucks!) but they are really important, for example: Laptop!

I remember that I was joking with a friend of mine the other day, saying that lap top is like "Namoos" to me!



Farhad Sepahbody

Sorry JJ

by Farhad Sepahbody on

That's a real bummer. JJ should have kept his passport in his vest or or at least used his nice backpack as a pillow.




by capt_ayhab on

Should we assume JJ that you are a robber magnet as opposed to a chick magnet[WINK]

Just kidding dude, sorry to hear that, but tell us, now that your laptop is gone, is this REALLY you posting this thread? [WINK WINK]

Kidding again dude,  more than likely your passport has a different picture on it already and had fetched few thousand bucks. US Embassy will issue you a temporary passport in a day or so. Just get your fat[affectionately speaking] rear end back home in one piece, we are concerned about you man.

Good luck


P/S Can I intrest you in a SLIGHTLY used laptop ??? lol


Are you kidding J.J.?

by Proud_To_Be_Anonymous on

I don't know if you were sarcastic or not when you said: "And who would expect it would happen in France?", but they all thieves (except for DK) over there.  Two years ago I took my family to Paris during the spring break and as I was getting on the subway train (or metro) somone picked my wallet from my pocket and got off.  It was just by pure chance that I realized it right away.  I jumped out before the doors closed and chased the mother f***** down and pulled my wallet out of his pocket.  I almost elbowed his face, then I thought I was in a foreign country and thinks might get complicated.  I have heard so many stories from other people about this problem in France.  Anyway, I am sorry for what happened to you.  Maybe we should all pitch in some Pesos for your lost condoms. 


Sorry to hear that

by Anonymouse on

Sorry to hear that JJ, it is an awful feeling.  When I go to Iran there are all these documents I have to carry, like Iranian and American passportS, shenasnameh, national ID, military/sarbazi card, tickets, money, etc.

I always wear a small bag and hang it from my neck.  I look like a donkey wearing a toobreh!  But at least I feel a bit better keeping the junk next to me.  It is a big hassle.

Anyway, if you're not going to Iran you don't have to worry about these documents, they can be replaced relatively easily.  Replacing shenasnameh on the other hand is a nightmare and they only issue an almosnah only once!  Loose it a 2nd time and you'll become a foreigner! 

Everything is sacred.

Darius Kadivar

French Connection ...

by Darius Kadivar on

So Sorry to hear about your predicament in the South of France but Marseille and Toulouse are known for being troublesome areas. I wouldn't be surprised that the Police may be culprits of the crime.


In Marseilles:


gitdoun ver.2.0

how awful

by gitdoun ver.2.0 on

wow that suxxx !!! i can't believe someone would jack a backpack.  what low-lifes !!!!


Hurry home....

by Khar on

to Americas here at least you don't need a passport to file a police report. Hope you had a power-on password and/or encryption on that laptop to make the data unreadable. Sorry you had to go through this.


I am not Joking

by darius on

Dear JJ.

I am not going to scare you  but  do not be surprised, if you and your  lap top have been target of interest for some people . I know

it can't be Ms.Yazdi following through your trip to write another story,

just be  more watchful.

Enjoy the rest of the trip.


Big Headache!

by sbglobe on

Jahanshah jan - sorry to hear about your misfortune. I hope everything works out soon. In the mean time try to Enjoy Nice! 


ebi amirhosseini

JJ Jaan

by ebi amirhosseini on

Hamash ye taraf,un ye baste kandomo begoo!!

Ebi aka Haaji

Nazy Kaviani


by Nazy Kaviani on

Sorry for your troubles, Jahanshah. Losing things, especially important things, is a nuissance even if you are near your home. In a faraway place it is even more of a headache.

I am sending you good vibes for speedy recovery or replacement of your belongings. I hope once you are sorted out you can resume your trip and start enjoying yourself again.

The biggest losses of life are never about things. I'm glad all your real assets are still intact.

Mola Nasredeen

Brother Jahnshah,

by Mola Nasredeen on

Hajagha sent you a box of condomn as replacement for the ones stolen during the train robbery. I hope it will be of use to you and French modmoiselles.



Funny, there is a "lost green card" google ad showing up!

by admin on


We're glad you're OK. I hope you recover soon, and continue on your journey. You probably lost some valuable pictures in that camera.