I wanted Lomo Saltado for breakfast.

We went into a restaurant near the square in Arequipa with a sign that said it was their house breakfast special. We ordered. She said she didn´t have it. Robbed, I say! Robbed of my Lomo . . . we settled on the grilled chicken. It just wasn´t the same.

We wandered into an antique shop because it looked cool . . . Matt sat his backpack down and then walked around in the store.

¨Aren´t you afraid that your pack will get stolen?¨ I asked.

¨No,¨ he said, ¨not even a little bit.¨

So, I didn´t say anything more. But it was a prophetic moment. We bought a couple of postcards, collected his unattended bag and walked on.

After a lovely evening stroll in Arequipa, we needed food. We wandered back into the edge of downtown. I spied a local sole menu restaurant with Lomo written on the sign. We walked in. Again, no Lomo. Damn! Robbed again . . . of my Lomo!

But we were hungry, so we just ordered something else. The restaurant was local – kind of grungy and packed with people. Lots of cars bounced by on the brick-covered colonial streets. Activity buzzed around us in all manner and form. Matt grabbed the water bottle we always keep on hand out of his backpack, which he then sat on the floor next to his leg.

I´m not sure at what point I realized that something was amiss.  I was busy people-watching. There was a cute old man wearing a dirty trucker hat who slurped his soup. Another dude looked like the real-life version of Smithers from the Simpsons. There were people getting up to pay just as a girl sat down right next to me at our table . . . unconsciously, I shifted my own backpack under my legs . . . and that´s when I looked over at a now-empty table that had been occupied by two young men . . . and I don´t really know why, but I suddenly shouted at Matt, ¨Where´s your pack? Where´s your bag?¨

He reached down, but it was already gone. In the shuffle, someone had just picked it up nonchalantly and walked out the door.