The Man With The Bolt Cutters

You’ll never believe it! Best blunder of my trip so far…

After a relaxing dinner of anchovy risotto and red wine, with a side of people watching, I returned to my hostel to finish a blog post and get a good night sleep. I removed my shoes and scarf, put down my wallet and camera, and took out my keys to open the secure locker next to my bed.

At first I thought I had the wrong key, but it fit the lock and I didn’t have any others the same size. I searched my wallet in case I had put another key there with an absent-mind. But no. Then I thought back to when I checked the key in the lock twice before dinner. I had actually scolded myself at the time for being so paranoid and not trusting that I had already checked the keys and locks.

My heart was starting to pound by that stage as I thought of my passport and clothes and tickets and whole current life that I would not be able to reach before needing to leave early the next morning.

No matter how much inserting and removing, wiggling, twisting or turning, the lock did not budge. After two minutes, which seemed like an eternity, I decided to stop being useless and get proactive.

Would you believe that, in the entire five storey hostel, not one person had a nail file, screw driver or Swiss Army knife (except me, in the locked cupboard)? After that attempt failed, the reception borrowed a screwdriver from the neighbour; it was super-sized and the latch skews were tiny.

So only ten minutes after I raised the alarm, a bald man in a red and white stripped shirt and denim overalls came storming in, grin on face, with giant yellow bolt cutters in hand.

Like something out of a Charlie Chaplin film, I raced up the five storeys with the receptionist and the bolt cutter man on my tail. The three sleeping girls in my dorm were abruptly woken with voices and lights, only to see the bolt cutter man charging in their direction.

Then, with one dramatic twist and some colourful sounding language, the bolt cutter man cut the lock, sending it flying towards the receptionist’s head.

And then they were gone. The girls were in tears with laugher. My passport was within reach again. Time for bed.


Published by Nic Freeman

I feel most like myself when I'm travelling, and enjoy sharing experiences and photography with fellow globe adventurers. Find me on Instagram for regular travel snaps @nicfreemanlife

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