Once upon a time…..
It’s the cool of the evening in Athens and I am back home to reflect on the day’s excitement and tales of derring-do. It’s not often you get an iPad and a MacBook Air stolen, then follow the exciting chase block by block through a city before the culprits are apprehended.
My devices and the hardy Ristretto bag are now back in my possession, thanks to Sergeant Hanis and his colleagues at the Glyfada police station, and are seemingly none the worse for their exciting adventures.
I can now try to rationalise my reactions when I discovered the bag missing from the seat beside me in the cafe. The place was nearly empty and I certainly had no near neighbours, nor did I hear a whisper or a footstep. The first thought is incredulity. It must be here somewhere. Then a brief moment of panic, with accompanying beads of sweat on the forehead.
What to do next? In such a situation you know in your heart of hearts that the stuff is lost, gone forever. How many people get their property back in such cases of casual theft? Luckily I still had my iPhone and I had Find My Mac. The police were intrigued to see my iPad bobbing around in central Athens, 10 km northwards, and pulled out all the stops to find the perps. It seems the whole station came by to say hello and peer at the iPhone screen. By this time the iPad and its dumb companions were making their way from Constitution Square, down Ermou Street in the direction of the crowded Monastiraki market area just below the Acropolis.
Frankly, I didn’t think they stood a cat in hell’s chance of finding the bag, but I sat there while Sergeant Hanis talked his central Athens colleagues street by street towards the point on the Google map. Suddenly there was a commotion, the good Sergeant smiled and announced: “We’ve got them.” The evil ones had been caught in the act of selling my precious goods. All this took place at a time of civil discontent in the area, with many roads closed, and it was four hours before my bag and the criminals could be brought back to the scene of the crime.
I’ve been incredibly lucky. Anyone who thinks that Find My Mac is a gimmick needs to think again. This is magic, as I’ve proved today. And the poor Greek police, who get hounded from pillar to post; who would have thought they would have acted so swiftly, surely and effectively? I am absolutely sure I would not have got such service in London. The Mets would have given me a crime report, patted me on the back and told me they would “look into it.” I doubt they’d have had the patience or time to interact with Find My Mac.
Imagine my delight when I got back the Tom Bihn, good as ever and with all its contents (minus one £2 Parker pen and a Moleskine notebook). At least the thieves got their priorities right. They’ll have something to write on in prison this evening. For me, my Ristretto is like a snail’s shell, a little mobile home that I carry around on my back. I have it with me always and, this afternoon, I kept wondering what was missing. But it’s back, welcome home.
And all lived happily ever after.