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Old 04-10-2012, 01:40 AM   #41
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Rome, 1975. Meadbh and her parents are recreating Dad's 1950 trip. We were well prepared for pickpockets and all three of us were wearing moneybelts and had a high level of situational awareness. Sunday morning: off to the flea market! Mom had her moneybelt on but also brought a Gladstone type purse for "stuff", and holds it in her armpit with the handles over her shoulder. She is examining some interesting leather goods when she suddenly feels her bag opening. She adducts her arm quickly, shutting the clasp on the fingers of the female would-be thief, who yelps and runs away. The nerve! But she had met her match in Mom!
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:24 AM   #42
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We were docked in Colombo, Ceylon -now Sri Lanka, around 1973 or so. The chief scientist goes off into town with a portable gravity meter to a well known monument in town in order to get a local reference reading AKA tie-in.

In the middle of taking a reading a local policeman shows up and asks him for a permit. Of course he has none. The policeman issues a fine of $100 American on the spot. Verbally of course. Phil, the scientist has only $60. The policeman takes his money and confiscates the gravity meter. And arrests the hapless scientist.

In the end the ships captain ends up paying several hundreds $$$ in bribes and fines to Ceylon's finest to get the scientist and the gravity meter released. No judge was ever in the loop.

Legal robbery at its best.
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:54 PM   #43
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I had an interesting experience once in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I want to emphasize that I am not recommending that anyone try this. Anyway, I must have had rocks in my head because I went alone for a vacation there. I was staying in a nice neighborhood, but most of San Juan is a hellhole. On the first day I walk down the hill to the main street to have dinner alone in a restaurant. Night falls quickly there and when I leave I am not pleased that it is now fully dark and I face a long hike up the hill to my pension. Walking on the busy main street I turned to notice a couple of teenaged kids obviously stalking me. They were probably 18 years old. I instantly decided that my best odds were to up the ante. So, glowering with rage I turned and headed right toward them locking eye contact. One of them wanted to go for it, but not the other guy so they walked away. Since I am by no means a fighter type they would have had little trouble with me, but as in many predator/prey situations the predator doesn't want any risk of injury even if the actual outcome is not in doubt.

Anyway, I was glad it worked in that situation.
This reminded me of something I read with respect to backpackers getting robbed in Argentina. The article noted that a lot of Israelis just out of the army go backpacking through South America and some get killed resisting robberies because they want to fight the robbers. Apparently it happens often enough to comment on.
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Old 04-15-2012, 01:20 PM   #44
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This reminded me of something I read with respect to backpackers getting robbed in Argentina. The article noted that a lot of Israelis just out of the army go backpacking through South America and some get killed resisting robberies because they want to fight the robbers. Apparently it happens often enough to comment on.
Hmm, I'm considering a trip to Buenos Aires.

Do homeowners policies cover robberies overseas?
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:14 AM   #45
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:21 AM   #46
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Something earlier today, during a conversation with my lady, reminded me of the following story, which I related to her:

In 1963, shortly after crossing the Tigris from Iraq to Iran, my travelling buddy and I encountered an extremely naive/trusting young Irishman who had led a very sheltered life, (God knows how he made it that far from Europe).........we 'adopted' him and headed eastward together.

In Colombo, Sri Lanka, the Irish guy had been off wandering the city on his own, and returned to the 'hostel' where we were staying to tell us he had a 'job'......he gestured towards a couple scuzzy looking locals loitering in the street close to the doorway, and told us that these guys had an assortment of foreign currency denominated traveller's checks, (obtained legally, he assured us), and they wanted him to exchange them for rupees in various shops.....for which they'd give him 10% of the face value.

Astounded, we both simultaneously responded with variations of "You're NOT actually contemplating doing this, are you?"

He replied that they had assured him that this was totally legit.......he just couldn't grasp that he was the patsy and if/when the police showed up he'd be the only guy in sight, and/or comprehend that it made zero sense for someone to pay him 10% of "their own money" for essentially doing nothing.

Then came the liberal response..."You don't like them because they're black".......to which we replied "LOOK at them, we wouldn't care if they had polka dots, these guys are scumballs".

He didn't go with them, but I suspect that, to this day, he still feels he was pressured out of 'a big score'.
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:23 PM   #47
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I running short of time and can't read all the posts, but I was wonder if you frequent travelers could answer a question. Do you think thieves target travelers because of how they are dressed and/or wearing nice jewelry, such as a Rolex watch or bling? Are these people more apt to become victims or are most thefts just random selections? If you were traveling would you substitute another watch for your Rolex? Leave your diamonds at home?
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:27 PM   #48
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I running short of time and can't read all the posts, but I was wonder if you frequent travelers could answer a question. Do you think thieves target travelers because of how they are dressed and/or wearing nice jewelry, such as a Rolex watch or bling? Are these people more apt to become victims or are most thefts just random selections? If you were traveling would you substitute another watch for your Rolex? Leave your diamonds at home?
Yes.
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:35 PM   #49
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DD was walking along the street with three female friends in Barcelona when a small guy going the other way grabbed one of the friends' bags. DD (who did boxing for a couple of years, and is well-built) and one of the friends hared after the guy, caught up with him, and forced him to give the bag back. When we heard, we went from "Yay. great job!" to "OMG, you could have been knifed" in the space of 5 seconds. Since it turned out well, she won't let us mention the story to any of our friends unless we promise not to speculate on the second possible outcome...
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:39 PM   #50
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I running short of time and can't read all the posts, but I was wonder if you frequent travelers could answer a question. Do you think thieves target travelers because of how they are dressed and/or wearing nice jewelry, such as a Rolex watch or bling? Are these people more apt to become victims or are most thefts just random selections? If you were traveling would you substitute another watch for your Rolex? Leave your diamonds at home?
If you were a delinquent on the prowl would you target someone with a rolex on the wrist and a thick gold chain around the neck, or someone wearing jeans and a t-shirt? Thieves target travelers and locals for the same flashy reasons.
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Old 04-19-2012, 01:37 AM   #51
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I've not had such unfortunate experiences in my travels (fingers crossed) but heard of lots of experiences from relatives and friends. The most memorable was from my ex-female colleague. She travelled with another lady friend in Madrid. They sat on a bench in one of the parks in Madrid and she put her handbag in between both of them and were looking at a map (definitely tourists). Suddenly, the handbag was grabbed by a child (there were 2 children in the act). Both ran away and the 2 ladies ran after them and caught one of the children. My ex-colleague's friend was then put in charge of holding on to the caught child while my friend ran after the other child who has the purse. After a long pursuit, the child kept throwing out the passport and credit cards and eventually ran off with the cash. With passport and credit cards in hand, my friend returned to her friend and realised that her friend had released the other child as she felt "unsafe" holding on to a child for so long with so many locals looking on - apparently no police were around.
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:34 PM   #52
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If you were a delinquent on the prowl would you target someone with a rolex on the wrist and a thick gold chain around the neck, or someone wearing jeans and a t-shirt? Thieves target travelers and locals for the same flashy reasons.
My normal wear is jeans and a t-shirt. When I wear a watch it is one I bought at Big Lots for $7.20. The only gold I wear is in my teeth. My shoes cost $15. Thieves probably look upon me as less prosperous than them and a waste of their time. I prefer to keep a low profile.
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:12 PM   #53
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Here it is usually the gas attendant who tries to get you. He hopes you don't look to make sure the pump zeroes out. If you're not looking, he'll start pumping where the last customer left off.

Also known someone who they flipped his 500 peso bill into a 50 and happened 2 times in his months visit and he finally caught on.

I've had 2 times where they tried to get 100 pesos off me... I'm scenical when I give anyone here money.

It's a shame that they don't care about the loss of future sales when people don't return to the country due to this type of dishonesty.
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:50 PM   #54
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Several years ago, travelling in Namibia with DW, and we stopped at traffic lights in Windhoek (the capital) on a main road to a hotel - there was one vehicle ahead and another behind us and a gang of about 6-7 men came along and started pointing to the rear wheel, no doubt trying to get us to believe that we had a flat. The roof carrier was loaded with stuff and when they could not get us to stop and get out, they started trying to climb up the sides to get at the stuff lashed to the roof carrier.

Luckily the stuff was fastened very tightly and before they could remove anything the lights changed to green and we were off like scalded rabbits. None of the people in the other vehicles even attempted to come to our aid. It was scary while it lasted. I am glad that they did not smash the side windows, but it was a high 4X4 and they might have had difficulty getting high enough.
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Old 04-20-2012, 03:08 PM   #55
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And Namibia, (which is on our 'wish list'), is touted as such a safe place to visit.

Reminds me of Nairobi, about 25+ years ago.......we were advised, should we want to go over to the hotel 'virtually' next door at night, then we should take a cab.

'Course, a couple buddies, in a group of a dozen or more guys, down to run the Marine Corps Marathon in D.C., were told exactly the same thing a few years back.
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Old 04-20-2012, 03:52 PM   #56
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And Namibia, (which is on our 'wish list'), is touted as such a safe place to visit.

Reminds me of Nairobi, about 25+ years ago.......we were advised, should we want to go over to the hotel 'virtually' next door at night, then we should take a cab.

'Course, a couple buddies, in a group of a dozen or more guys, down to run the Marine Corps Marathon in D.C., were told exactly the same thing a few years back.
I'm not sure what the situation is like now, this was approx 2001 and as long as you stayed away from Windhoek, you were usually safe.

Namibia has the stark quiet beauty of a semidesert country - I would like to go back one final time and revisit Sossusvlei, the Etosha game reserve and the Epupa falls - one would have to rent a fully equipped 4X4 and probably go with more than one vehicle, one could drive all day and only meet up with one or two other vehicles.
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Old 04-20-2012, 04:27 PM   #57
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Namibia has the stark quiet beauty of a semidesert country - I would like to go back one final time and revisit Sossusvlei, the Etosha game reserve and the Epupa falls - one would have to rent a fully equipped 4X4 and probably go with more than one vehicle, one could drive all day and only meet up with one or two other vehicles.
We were in the Kalahari (Botswana) 2 years ago......maybe we'll be 'the second vehicle' next time you go.
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Old 04-20-2012, 09:01 PM   #58
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A much more domestic situation.

About 40 years ago, when I was 12, was with my family on vacation staying at the Holiday Inn in Gilbertsville, KY.

We all went down to the pool, but Mom and Dad left their wallet and purse in the motel room. After swimming, came back to the room and Mom says "I don't remember leaving the light on". Yep, wallet and purse were gone.

I tell you, I didn't sleep a wink that night in the room.
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Old 04-21-2012, 05:29 AM   #59
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If you were a delinquent on the prowl would you target someone with a rolex on the wrist and a thick gold chain around the neck, or someone wearing jeans and a t-shirt? Thieves target travelers and locals for the same flashy reasons.
For the same reason when I travel I park my Suzuki cruiser next to Harleys if I stay at a motel.

I also live in a nice neighborhood in an old 1400 sq ft home where the rest of the houses are new 3800-6000+ sq ft homes. I sleep easy at night and don't worry about break-ins when I'm away. There is nothing inside worth taking anyway.

Cheers!
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Old 04-21-2012, 01:58 PM   #60
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[QUOTE=Badger;1187095]For the same reason when I travel I park my Suzuki cruiser next to Harleys if I stay at a motel.
QUOTE]

That should keep your Suzuki from being stolen. However, I would worry about the Harley owners vanalizing your Suzuki.
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