An open letter to the person who stole my bag

Dear Sir or Madam,

   Just over one week ago, while I was enjoying an amazing weekend in Seoul with my friends, you stole my bag. I was camping and left said bag a foot away from me outside of the tent for a mere half an hour and suddenly it was gone, along with the purse of one fellow-camper.

  To begin, South Korea has an incredibly low crime rates and the fact that we had items stolen at all both shock and appall everyone we tell who has spent any time here, including the police we reported the incident to.

   My first instinct was rage. The moment I knew what happened, I walked around the entire park looking, and hoping, that someone was pulling a prank and that I would find my bag–or at least some of its contents–hidden in the nearby bushes or perhaps under a bench.

   Alas, it truly was gone. After one of the most frustrating mornings of my life reporting the theft to Seoul police as well as a week of trying to replace that which has been lost, I have a few thought for you:

   I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.

   Sure, at first, I was livid. Just thinking about what was inside of that bag was enough to make me actually nauseated. Yet, after the day spent with my overly-supportive friends and the ability to purchase the majority of what was stolen, I must say, that I’m sorry for what you did, but I hope it helps you.

   The contents of my bag (from what I can remember) were this:

  -One cosmetic bag and toiletries

  -One pair or Nike shorts and one pair of J.Crew Chino shorts

  -One Victoria’s Secret Sports Bra (my favorite one too you piece of shit, but I’m still not mad)

  -One glasses case, and one pair of contacts

  -One pencil bag holding my favorite felt tip markers

  -One copy “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”

  -One black and red journal

  -One iPhone 4, with Mizzou-themed case

  -One United States Passport and Korean Visa

  -One Nikon 5200 DSLR camera

I am extremely fortunate that my wallet was in the tent with me, so the cash I was carrying as well as my two bankcards and multiple forms of IDs were not similarly lost; however, in the interest of transparency, I must admit that I’m now shaking because I am growing angry once more thinking of all my material possessions stolen; but that’s the thing, they were all material.

  -You gave me a great excuse to treat my self and re-buy unnecessary, yet comforting cosmetics, and let’s be honest, it was probably time for a new toothbrush anyway.

  -My Nike shorts were ripped along the seem on the right-hand side and needing replacing, my Chinos were two sizes too large (thanks Korean food!) so again, not a huge loss, just expensive items that needed to be replaced and now I have the excuse to do so

  -I still hate that you stole my sports bra, but damnit it was my favorite color and had adorable cross straps that made me feel like Heidi Klum (shut up, I can dream)

  -My glasses case was rusting and my contacts were nearing the end of their two week mark, so that’s just extra weight for you to carry around on your run home

  -My felt tip markers were pretty new, but hey, Korea is known for their plethora of inexpensive school supplies and my local Daiso more than supplied me with replacements

  -JUST TELL ME WHAT HAPPENS TO FRODO (just kidding, I’ve already bought a new copy and enjoyed it thoroughly and hope that you do the same.)

  -The details of my first month in Korea are crazy, entertaining, and flat out strange, stay tuned for my complete published works now that you hold the original manuscript (seriously, just let me dream)

  -The theft of my iPhone just makes me giggle as it was first of all: locked, second: an iPhone 4 with a broken lock button, and third: a hand-me-down from my 13-year-old sister. The day before my flight to Korea, I convinced her to swap phones with me, so that I would be taking her old phone on my trip and she would get to inherit my beautiful, new iPhone 5C (also with Mizzou case because of course.) The point is, I was prepared for something to happen to my phone and wanted to have the worse of the two. Joke’s on you, Sir/Madam.

  -My United States passport and Korean Visa are disappointing thefts as my passport has been on many a trip with me and contained nearly a dozen stamps. However, the look of judgment on the face of the woman at the U.S. Embassy when I told her the story of how it was stolen was worse (yes, I know I did a dumb thing. THANKS)

  -Finally, the loss of my Nikon sucks. It just flat out sucks. It was a graduation gift from my dad that he had been planning for nearly a year. We researched the one I wanted, had many a conversation about the quality, and finally, he gave it to me on the night of my first ceremony over sushi to show me how proud he was of all I accomplished in college. You didn’t steal just my camera, you stole my reminder that my dad and I can overcome obstacles and still be proud of one another. You stole a symbol. But that too, can be replaced.

Of the above list, I have already replaced the cosmetics, the toiletries, the clothing, the cell phone, the markers, the book, the journal, and the passport. I am the luckiest person in the world that I have a job and the financial means to replace material objects that aren’t necessities. I am by no means a wealthy person, and I never have been, but, Sir/Madam, I have never been in a desperate enough position to steal from someone. I have eaten ramen for multiple meals and I have paid bills late, but I have never needed to take things from someone else to sustain my living. I am a college graduate and I know that makes me privileged.

My final thoughts to you are this: I hope you got more money than you were expecting out of our two bags. I hope you didn’t feel two much disappointment when you realized there was no cash in my bag and only the equivalent of $30 in the other. I hope you fit into my shorts and glorious sports bra, or you know someone who does. I hope you felt like you struck gold when you saw my camera, and I sincerely hope that you knew it was worth no less than $700 and you got as much when/if you sold it. If you haven’t sold it, I hope you do soon and eat well with your earnings.

I thank you for this experience and the lesson it taught me, and I wish you all the best. I truly hope your situation is bettered and you live out the rest of your days comfortably.


On the other hand, if you are just some punk kid stealing on a dare or because you thought it would be funny than fuck you.


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