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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Mall Security in the Philippines

Last Saturday I took a visit to the mall for the first time.  It's similar to the malls in America except trying to find something in the lost and found is a little bit of an adventure.

One of my last stops was to pick up a phone card, which I paid for in pesos just like everything I pay for is.  However, in the process I lost my Peace Corps given phone.  When I got back to IIRR (which is where I live until tomorrow morning) I realized I lost the phone & more importantly, I realized I had to make another trip to the mall to possibly find a phone that may never turn up. 

The next day I take the Jeepney, which is a small bus that could cram up to 25-30 people if it wants, but I think on this trip we were just over 20.  Once we arrive, I dart straight over to the Smartphone section where I lost the phone & tell them about the situation.  They look in their drawers to no avail and summon the mall security.  About 3 or 4 security guards arrive & then talk in their walkie talkies in tagalog (which I haven't mastered yet), loud enough & long enough to make me look nervous even though I didn't do anything.  At this point, I am praying no other Peace Corps Trainee is stairing at me at this point because with all the security around it looks like I just got caught shoplifting.

Then one of the guards tells me to follow him to what I think is the lost and found section.  I follow him upstairs throught the department store & into the employee locker room.  Now I am thinking, 'ok seriously, what did I do.'  After I walk down past the employee section, I finally enter a room where I sit down with three other guards, one of them is the Head security.  He asks me for my identity, which I didn't have at the time.  I had left it at in my room.  I couldn't believe it.  I kept telling the guard the brand of the phone & the names on the phone, but I guess it wasn't enough.  Luckily, I think the guard felt sorry for me & returned the phone to me.  It hasn't left my side ever since.

Moral of the story, watch were you put your junk.  You never know if you'll get it back.  Next time I write I'll be in Dinalupihan in the Province of Bataan.  Farewell from the Municipality of Silang.

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