Lessons learned: How I lost my laptop and never saw it again
You might have seen our posts from the meet trip to Jönköping a couple of weeks ago on Snapchat and Instagram. The trip to Jönköping was awesome, despite me losing my computer on the first night. This is the reason why I didn’t post here for a couple of weeks. Although, we do have PC’s at school that anyone can use, I just didn’t feel comfortable doing creative work on them. I wanted to share this with you, because I learned something. And maybe, you won’t have to make the same mistakes I did. I traveled to Jönköping by train. First train was from Umeå to Stockholm and from there I took another train to Jönköping. Most trains in Sweden have a decent internet connection, so I was working on laptop on the train. All the way to Jönköping. I then (at least I think I did) put it in my backpack, which I had in front of me. Then took the rest of my stuff from the rack above and left pretty fast for catching the other bloggers on the same train.
The next morning I realized that my laptop was gone. I searched the hotel room a couple of times with no results. Didn’t think I had left it on the train, but I contacted the SJ lost and found service anyway. They told me that if it was found it would take up to seven days to arrive into their office. I also reported it to the police, though I never thought it would help. I still don’t know exactly where it was stolen. It probably wasn’t taken from the hotel room, as my camera was still in my backpack. So it was probably taken sometime when I was leaving the train.
It was a second-hand MacBook pro, not super expensive, but it had served me well for a couple of years. Luckily, I didn’t have many files on it, for a reason. The only thing I lost was my CV, which is pretty easy to remake and some photographs, I don’t even remember which ones, so I guess they weren’t that important either. And the part of my thesis I had written on the way, also quite easy to rewrite. So in a way, I felt lucky. Sure, I would have to buy a new one, but at least I still had copies all my important files at home. The saddest part was that I had been too lazy to get a new insurance when I moved from my previous apartment to my current one. So the biggest loss was financial, but I’m still trying to convince myself that money is just numbers on my account, its not that important.
What I also realized is the prejudices I have when it comes to safety in different places. It feels like in Sweden nothing ever happens and the amount of theft is very little. In Umeå the most common thing to get stolen is a bicycle, so I always make sure to have mine locked. Of course, this varies between cities. I wouldn’t have been so surprised if it happened in Stockholm, Göteborg, or Malmö, the larger cities with more people. So at the beginning, it was hard to believe that it was Jönköping on a quiet Thursday night. I visited Tallinn, the capital of Estonia a bit earlier this spring and carried my camera and laptop everywhere. I wouldn’t even leave them in my hotel room. Although, I believe, Estonia is pretty safe these days, but I’ve heard many stories of theft from there. So I didn’t want to risk anything. The Jönköping trip turned out to be quite expensive, but now I have a nice laptop and barely think about the old one anymore.
What I learned and what you should know:
- Bad things happen in Sweden too.
- Get an insurance, it’s very easy, they speak English in all insurance companies and much cheaper than a new computer.
- Have backup copies of your important files.