So what happened?
Janet: "We had some free time to explore this fascinating, cosmopolitan city. Ted and I were walking along one of the busy streets of Shanghai when four "20-something" students approached us, wanting to practice their English. They were quite friendly and charming. So we chatted away.
Yes, we know: DUH!
Now, this would have meant a painful financial loss and lesson in many places in the world and here in the U.S. where local authorities would consider this a price to pay for touristic gullibility - but Janet and Ted were in Shanghai, China, where hospitality and helpfulness reign.
Janet: "I informed our hotel about the incident, thinking it may help warn other guests. To our surprise, they immediately called the police. The nearest station sent a policeman within minutes! Wow, what an incredible response to assist some dumb tourists - yes, we have to admit it, we fell hook, line and sinker for one of the oldest, international scams in the world. Maybe we should read guide books! The policeman, Ted, a concierge and a hotel security staffer ventured out to try to find this obscure tea shop. Ted had a photo of us near a building that provided a landmark. We were invited to drive in a paddy wagon around the first possible police district.
And we did!
In fact, we walked into the same room and found the scam artists with two New Yorkers! Yes, even those hard core New Yorkers fell for the scam!
It was me living my dream - just like on Law and Order. I busted the “thieves” while shouting to the grateful New Yorkers "They stole from us! Get out!"
Yes, fabulous memories for a life time!
We then got into another paddy wagon with the crooks and we all went to the police station. After some time the tea shop owner came in and the police made him go to the ATM and return our $$$.
Moral of the Story: Even Veteran Travelers and New Yorkers can be duped - but in Shanghai the Police and hotel management went above and beyond to save us from our own mistakes.
谢谢 - Thank You for your assistance and incredible support!
Thank you to Ted Bowers for capturing our (mis)adventures with his camera!
What a week it was!