Hey you guys!
Before I start my story, I just want to say that this is not a click bait. I really almost went to jail back when I traveled to Italy.
So, before I traveled to Italy, one of my mom’s colleagues gave me some Euros because she had been to Europe couple of times before. But I also exchanged my money in a bank. So I have 2 sources of euros.
When I traveled to Venice with my family, I wanted to buy some souvenirs. I really like earring back then so I kinda collected them. But then, when I was about to pay for some reason the seller said she can’t proceed the payment. Apparently, there was a machine that kinda scan the money. I didn’t know what the machine does that moment. So I changed the money without thinking any further. I thought maybe the money was crumpled or anything. No biggie. I put the money back to my wallet.
Well then couple of days or weeks later I visited Milan for the second time. The first time, I went with my uncle and cousin who traveled with me from Indonesia. The second time, it was only my cousin and I. We walked around from morning to night, I guess it was 8pm or something. So we were about to go back to my aunt’s house at Civate and we went to the central train station.
I was pretty surprised as I did not see “Lecco” on the announcement board. So at first I thought “Well, damn. I have to stay at Milan with my male cousin and I do not bring any spare clothes. Oh shoot this is going to be awkward if I have to share a room with him. Oh shoot more expenses. Oh mate I’m broooookeee” But then, I thought it’s good since we really wanna experience Milan at night as we did in Rome and Firenze. BUT THEN, Lecco showed up and the train will depart at 8.30pm or something. Whew, I dont have to share a room with my cousin! No surprised expenses. Whew!
Since we still had some times until the train arrive, we decided to walk around and do window shopping. So I went to this ZARA store and I decided to buy some clothes. Hey, I was at that point in life where I wanna look all cute, good, like to wear make up etc and like to take picture of me hahahha. Now? Back to my usual, messy looking self. Yeah… I’m just gonna be me. Oh sorry, getting out of topic again!
SOOO anywayyy, I was about to pay at the cashier and talked to my cousin. I gave the cashier some money and there were other people there, the cashier, the guard and a guy who was not wearing a uniform. I gave them the money that I used at Venice but got declined. I know it’s the same one because I originally wanted to use the money to pay for my flights tickets to my aunt who bought me the tickets, but she refused. So I put the money in different section in my wallet.
There was a lot of fuck going on my mind
The look of the cashier got confused and she talked to the other guys in Italian like explaining things and she kept scanning the money. They were talking and they looked really serious. I didn’t understand any of it (though my cousin who’s Italian taught me several words in Italian, yeah forgot those in a second, sorry cousin). Suddenly, the cashier asked me where did I get the money, I was confused as to why she asked me this, so I told her that I exchanged the money back in Indonesia and one of my mom’s friend gave some to me as she just came back from Europe.
And so, the guy who was not wearing a uniform told me something beyond my wildest imagination.
“It’s a counterfeit money”
MY. FACE. WENT. FROM. LAUGHING. AND. SMILING. TO. STRAIGHT. PALE.
“FUCK I’M GOING TO JAIL. FUCK WHAT SHOULD I DO. FUCK *imagining myself sitting in a cell* FUCK I CANT GO BACK TO INDONESIA. FUCK I HAVENT FINISHED COLLEGE” aaand lots of another fuck in my mind thinking about worst case scenario. Yep, there was a lot of fuck going on my mind
I dont know whether I looked that innocent or they felt sorry of my reaction or I just looked too stupid to actually trying to buy something with counterfeit money, but they actually really nice to explain to me about it. They told me the difference between the real and the fake one. They also told me that the machine is used to tell us whether the money is fake or not. So I asked them if I could scan all of my money to tell whether I have another fake one. My cousin did that as well. Luckily, we did not have another fake one.
“You dont look like you know you are carrying a fake money. I can see that from your reaction and I have the guts that you are innocent. We were about to call the police before, but we need to make sure if you really aware of it or not. Please be careful next time and please separate it with the others so you wont get it mixed up”
THANK GOD THEY DID NOT CALL THE POLICE OR I’M DEAAAD. Luckily my aunt also rejected the money or she would be the one who took the blame. Whew… So after that, I paid for my clothes and went back to Civate. Whew that was wild!
Moral of the story guys, don’t accept money from someone just like you wont accept carrying anything for strangers. She/he might not have that bad intention, but she/he also does not know whether the money is legit or not. You better exchange the money yourself at a trusted money changer like the bank. At least that’s what I learned from my experience. I think it’s also better if you just use credit card or debit card to withdraw some money at your destination so you wont bring too much cash with you and it’s safer that way. But do check the fees though. Now, I usually withdraw money if only I really need more but before I go to another country, I always check the fees first. I prefer to avoid exchange my money too often if I’m abroad but I usually do bring some US Dollars. But well, I have never done that actually since I usually bring enough or just withdraw. So the USD is just for backup.
So guys, have you ever experienced similar event like me? Or what is the wildest thing that ever happened when you travel? Leave me some comments below 🙂