How We Almost Became Potential Sex Trafficking Victims, in Milan Italy
How we almost became potential sex trafficking victims, in Milan, Italy.
My wife and I (i'm a girl, in case you didn't read my bio) had decided to take a month-long trip that included the following: Paris, London, Switzerland, Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome, then Iceland to complete our month-long excursion.
We packed fairly light with 1 large suitcases and a backpack because we knew that we would eventually have to lug our luggage around the cobblestones of Italy. We began our trip in Paris, France.
As we arrived at Paris we hoped aboard a bus that took us into the city and then grabbed a cab to our hotel. Having been in Paris before we felt comfortable roaming the city freely, including checking out the bars at night.
Although I must warn you, avoid the stations at night, because most are not in good areas and become very sketchy at night. ALWAYS take a cab, or Uber especially if you’re a girl. It is better to be safe the sorry.
London was next on our trip, then Switzerland, (which you can read about in my next blog post!) so fast forward to Milan. We take the train from Switzerland to Milan and the view of the ride there was AMAZING!
We arrived at Milan Train Station mid-afternoon, the station was busy! So many people, everywhere! One thing that immediately struck me was, the station was so congested it would be fairly easy to get pickpocketed.
Milan Central Station is a VERY busy hub for public transportation, which means you need to keep a very important eye on your bags at all times! Do not even look away for a second because the distractions are everywhere, from “beggars”, to pick pockets, to sex trafficker looking for their next victim. Also take note of where security is located, and keep watch for any suspicious people.
AVOID THE “HELPERS” There will be people pretending to be helpful and will hangout by the ticket machines. They will attempt to offer to help you through the process of buying tickets. DON’T BUY IT INTO THEIR SCHEME!
The ticket machines are actually very easy to use and have English language versions. If you accept their help, they will want you to pay for it, so just say “No, grazie,” very firmly and ignore them at all costs. Generally, they will not be aggressive if you tell them no upfront, however if you let them help you and refuse to pay them, they could get aggressive. So be sure to say “NO” firmly when approached.
AVOID THE “BEGGARS” Another group to avoid is the beggars, there will be women with children hanging out around the entrances to Milano Centrale.
Often, the women will distract you begging for money, while the children attempt to pickpocket or take things from your luggage. European countries offer sufficient welfare benefits for its residents, so it is truly up to you whether you want to provide some extra change to the beggars.
Unfortunately, in my experience the security and train station staff has been very biased and are not very welcoming to individuals who do not speak Italian. However, do not let that deter you from seeking help, if you feel threatened.
Also, some travelers have reported that their luggage has been stolen from the train platforms, as well at random train stops, when you have bigger suitcases they generally stay near the entrance not always in sight. Luggage has disappeared from the carry-on rack before, and your only hope is often to report the stolen baggage when you arrive at your destination.
When we were riding the train to Milano, we couldn’t help but feel that we were being watched. The feeling did not go away once we stepped off the platform into the bustling station.
Lost and confused on how to get to our hotel we wandered around the station. I kept catching a glimpse of a man following us anywhere we went. My wife on the other hand did not believe me as she shrugged me off.
We sat near the entrance of Milano station waiting for our Uber to arrive, when I spotted the same man who had been following sitting across from us. At that moment, fear flashed over me because he was taking pictures of us! Can you believe that! Pictures of us, and he was not being shy about it either!
I whispered to my wife to watch the man, and she finally saw it and finally believed that he was following us! We quickly got up and moved seats clear on the other side of the station, and the man followed.
Our eyes searching for the nearest police officer, as we kept hoping that the Uber would arrive any minute. We kept moving, and he kept following.
Finally! The Uber arrives and at this point the man is walking towards us, so we bolt to the Uber. We run toward the Uber driver as he gets out of the car to greet us and thank God, he was 10x bigger then the man following us, and the man stops in his tracks and just watches.
He continues to snap pictures of us as he gets on the phone calling someone, we tell our Uber driver the situation he hurries us into the car, and drives away.
As we were driving away the man stands in the middle of the street and continues to take pictures of the car as we drove away. Our Uber tells us that there are sex traffickers that look for lone women that can be easily targeted.
In recent news, there was a model who was kidnapped and stuffed into a suitcase from the Milano Train Station! Luckily, she managed to get away, however I am sure others have not been so lucky.
Once we got to our hotel, we were afraid to leave for fear he followed us, and would later try to kidnap us. (Like the movie TAKEN!) So, we only stayed one day, saw Milano Duomo, and headed out of there as fast as we could to our next destination.
I will definitely, not be returning to Milan, I came, I saw, and saw that there was not much in Milan to see and do. If I were you I would honestly pass on Milan and would not risk it. Now I shouldn't bash Milan too hard, but we definitely got lucky, because things could of gone alot worse.
However just like every travel you take, there is always a risk, no matter where you go.
We cannot live our lives in fear or we'll never see the world.
Seeing the Duomo Di Milan (see image below) was definitely a beautiful sight, so the entire trip wasn't all bad.