I Punched a Local in the Face

 

Let me explain

Last night, I was returning home from a wonderful night of social intrigue and gastro-intestinal charm. I had enjoyed the best salmon dinner of my life in a small sushi/seafood restaurant in Palermo Hollywood, just across the tracks from the relative safety and comfort of Recoleta (the district where I live).

Along with one of my English friends, I had gone to a party where the participants meet up at an “old persons’  bar,” play loud music, chat with each other and then proceed to a locked bar (one of the charms of Buenos Aires; these are invite-only bars that have no license and you can only find them if you know where to look) where cultural exchanges are necessary, not just possible, and everyone in attendance was good-looking (strange, but true..a requirement?).

In any case, after crossing the railroad tracks to walk my English friend home and walking alone through the Palermo district up to Ave Sante Fe (essentially through a criminal wasteland after dark to reach a tourist haven), I was shocked to encounter resistance so close to home.

Safety Zone

Now consider this: since I’ve lived in Buenos Aires, when people find out I live in the Recoleta district, they assume that 1) I have a lot of money and 2) I live in an old person’s district where there is no crime and lots of laxatives. This is the impression I had of my home district, and I really wasn’t expecting any trouble once I made it to Sante Fe, my home free-zone. Easy breezy.

I assume wrong. Last night, as I was making my way onto the home stretch, the very last block to my apartment, I encountered a youth of massive proportions.

He has to be 6’10″, 280 pounds or more (though the locals wouldn’t know what I meant by that, being on the metric system and all). Let’s just say he was a big guy, and I could see him as I turned onto Ave Uriburu, ducking into the shadows of a closed newstand with his shaved head and big black hoodie.

Bam, Thwack

I thought to myself “Is this really how this will go down? Is this kid going to give me a hard time? I mean, I can SEE him right there; he’s not even really hiding. Surely if he were going to try to mug me he would be better at it than this.” I kept walking. Where else could I go?

As I walked by, he came at me with a challenge: “Necesito 2 pesos para mi familia y mi perro. ¿Puedo tener dos pesos?”

I whipped out my standard response, not knowing exactly what he was asking at that moment but pretty sure from the body language he was begging: “No hablo Espańol.”

He wasn’t satisfied. He followed me around the corner where another teenager, clearly working with him (though much skinnier and less massive) came at me from the front.

“Necesito 2 pesos para mi familia y mi perro. ¿Puedo tener dos pesos?”

I saw what was happening as it happened. I was thinking in the back of my mind “Oh, so THAT’S what this kind of swindle looks like in real life; I expected more drama.” The rotund fellow closed in behind me as I walked forward into the arms of the skinny guy, who gestured at me to give him pesos as he reached for my arms to push me against the wall.

Much faster than politeness would entail, the skinny guy closed on me. My hand inadvertedly shot forward, hitting him in the face and pushing him back into the brick wall as he reached for my hands. I could hear the larger fellow moving quickly forward behind me.

The skinny guy, clearly shocked from the quick (and unskilled) knuckle-sandwich to the face moved past me to the fat guy. I picked up my pace, turned backward and shouted (as I raised my index finger to punctuate my point) “Watch it!” I continued to walk backward from them, watching their feet for any intent to move in my direction and slowly edging toward my (locked and secure) apartment access door. When they showed no signs of following, only confusion, I pulled out my key, unlocked the door to the apartment lobby, and quickly latched the door, making my way past the mirrors and small coffee table to the elevators, hands shaking slightly from the adrenaline from the attack and mind racing to put my body at ease.

Relative Safety

“I’m safe. I’m safe,” I told myself. “Man this is fucked up,” I also told myself.

Thinking back, I may not have had a whole lot to worry about, but I probably should have been more careful.

First of all, I was walking home, alone, at 5 in the morning. Though I shouldn’t have had anything to worry about on a big street like Ave Sante Fe, the path I took through Palermo is a different story, especially crossing the railroad tracks at night. Taxis are not expensive in Buenos Aires, and it would not have been any loss of valor to flag one down and hop a ride on the way. I took precautions: when I walk alone in a large city I tilt my elbows out and increase the intensity of my struck…confidence goes a long way in detracting criminals…but it was clearly not enough.

Second, it is second nature for some porteńos to trick visitors for profit, so I should have been more cautious and had a better escape plan ready just in case. People get pick-pocketed all the time in BA, and muggings are next in line when it comes to common non-violent crime.

Third, I realized these were teenagers, big teenagers for sure, but they backed off as soon as I offered up resistance. Hitting one of them in the face and shoving him into a wall was clearly a surprise and they weren’t sure how to act. If one of them had been armed I likely wouldn’t have been so lucky, and surprising them could have been a terrible solution rather than the right one. In this case, though, it bought me the time I needed to get away.

I was handed a freebie this time, and I seriously doubt I’ll be given another one. I’ll definitely be taking more precautions while traveling from district to district alone and late at night for the rest of my stay in Buenos Aires.

Keep This in Mind

The lesson I’ve taken from this encounter (and now pass on to you) is that when in Buenos Aires, or any foreign city, be sure to heed the cautionary tales of others and make use of taxis after dark. Otherwise, you too could be the victim of a violent crime, and it might not turn out quite so well.

114 comments

  1. I don’t have any mugging situations to share, but I would probably have the exact same reaction as you did. A taxi sounds like a good idea from now on though!

    Great story, and glad you made it through safely.

  2. I don’t have any mugging situations to share, but I would probably have the exact same reaction as you did. A taxi sounds like a good idea from now on though!

    Great story, and glad you made it through safely.

  3. I don’t have any mugging situations to share, but I would probably have the exact same reaction as you did. A taxi sounds like a good idea from now on though!

    Great story, and glad you made it through safely.

  4. Aw man – no fun. But they saw where you live? That could present some problems if they’re harboring any resentment towards you for embarrassing them. When I almost got jumped outside my place in LA by the crazy guy walking his dogs, the encounter itself wasn’t fun, but worse was thinking that he might be waiting for me, or with friends in the future.

  5. Aw man – no fun. But they saw where you live? That could present some problems if they’re harboring any resentment towards you for embarrassing them. When I almost got jumped outside my place in LA by the crazy guy walking his dogs, the encounter itself wasn’t fun, but worse was thinking that he might be waiting for me, or with friends in the future.

  6. Aw man – no fun. But they saw where you live? That could present some problems if they’re harboring any resentment towards you for embarrassing them. When I almost got jumped outside my place in LA by the crazy guy walking his dogs, the encounter itself wasn’t fun, but worse was thinking that he might be waiting for me, or with friends in the future.

  7. Aw man – no fun. But they saw where you live? That could present some problems if they’re harboring any resentment towards you for embarrassing them. When I almost got jumped outside my place in LA by the crazy guy walking his dogs, the encounter itself wasn’t fun, but worse was thinking that he might be waiting for me, or with friends in the future.

  8. Colin, sorry to hear you got your first argentinean adrenaline rush!
    Being a local myself and knowing very well the neighborhood (Recoleta), I can tell you for sure that this kind of things are getting more familiar. Sadly, the most common mugs are in the hands of teenagers and frankly, you don’t know what to expect from them.
    As you said, taxis here are cheap and definitely a good option at 5am (note: always try to get what we call a “radio taxi”, which are safer and you can identify them easily by looking if they have their company name in their doors or car roof).
    I think that in any major city you eventually find your ways, glad to hear you know your “Van-Damme” moves intact! Keep yourself safe!

  9. Colin, sorry to hear you got your first argentinean adrenaline rush!
    Being a local myself and knowing very well the neighborhood (Recoleta), I can tell you for sure that this kind of things are getting more familiar. Sadly, the most common mugs are in the hands of teenagers and frankly, you don’t know what to expect from them.
    As you said, taxis here are cheap and definitely a good option at 5am (note: always try to get what we call a “radio taxi”, which are safer and you can identify them easily by looking if they have their company name in their doors or car roof).
    I think that in any major city you eventually find your ways, glad to hear you know your “Van-Damme” moves intact! Keep yourself safe!

  10. Colin, sorry to hear you got your first argentinean adrenaline rush!
    Being a local myself and knowing very well the neighborhood (Recoleta), I can tell you for sure that this kind of things are getting more familiar. Sadly, the most common mugs are in the hands of teenagers and frankly, you don’t know what to expect from them.
    As you said, taxis here are cheap and definitely a good option at 5am (note: always try to get what we call a “radio taxi”, which are safer and you can identify them easily by looking if they have their company name in their doors or car roof).
    I think that in any major city you eventually find your ways, glad to hear you know your “Van-Damme” moves intact! Keep yourself safe!

  11. Colin, sorry to hear you got your first argentinean adrenaline rush!
    Being a local myself and knowing very well the neighborhood (Recoleta), I can tell you for sure that this kind of things are getting more familiar. Sadly, the most common mugs are in the hands of teenagers and frankly, you don’t know what to expect from them.
    As you said, taxis here are cheap and definitely a good option at 5am (note: always try to get what we call a “radio taxi”, which are safer and you can identify them easily by looking if they have their company name in their doors or car roof).
    I think that in any major city you eventually find your ways, glad to hear you know your “Van-Damme” moves intact! Keep yourself safe!

  12. gotta love BsAs. i was once mugged on libertador of all places, while waiting for a bus on a bright, sunny afternoon, in front of an office that was open for business. sorry, did i say that “i” was mugged? oh, i meant my older brothers , 3 other male classmates, and i. the muggers? two young teens with butter knives. sounds ridiculous, i know, but hey… they had butter knives. all we had were basketballs, backpacks, and dumbfounded looks on our faces. we pretended to be “dumb yankees,” despite all of us being fluent spanish speakers, and when the bus approached, we all climbed aboard in efforts to escape our muggers.

    here’s something you should know about buenos aires: bus drivers will not help you escape muggers. fact. this motherfucker actually made all of us get off the bus because he didn’t want any trouble. his foot remained on the brakes until we’d all gotten off the bus.

    it gets better. the teen muggers were still there. so we had to go through round two of being harassed before the next bus came around. so ridiculous. they tried to grab our backpacks as the second bus pulled up, and this time we lucked out and were able to get away safely from our butter knife attackers. i bought mace the next day.

    lesson learned? it doesn’t matter where you are, who you’re with, what you’re doing, and who’s around. you’re going to get mugged in buenos aires. and you’ll always walk away thinking, “seriously?? did that really just happen??” ridiculous.

    glad you got away okay… kudos for throwing punches. they’re not used to wily victims like you :) fuckers.

  13. gotta love BsAs. i was once mugged on libertador of all places, while waiting for a bus on a bright, sunny afternoon, in front of an office that was open for business. sorry, did i say that “i” was mugged? oh, i meant my older brothers , 3 other male classmates, and i. the muggers? two young teens with butter knives. sounds ridiculous, i know, but hey… they had butter knives. all we had were basketballs, backpacks, and dumbfounded looks on our faces. we pretended to be “dumb yankees,” despite all of us being fluent spanish speakers, and when the bus approached, we all climbed aboard in efforts to escape our muggers.

    here’s something you should know about buenos aires: bus drivers will not help you escape muggers. fact. this motherfucker actually made all of us get off the bus because he didn’t want any trouble. his foot remained on the brakes until we’d all gotten off the bus.

    it gets better. the teen muggers were still there. so we had to go through round two of being harassed before the next bus came around. so ridiculous. they tried to grab our backpacks as the second bus pulled up, and this time we lucked out and were able to get away safely from our butter knife attackers. i bought mace the next day.

    lesson learned? it doesn’t matter where you are, who you’re with, what you’re doing, and who’s around. you’re going to get mugged in buenos aires. and you’ll always walk away thinking, “seriously?? did that really just happen??” ridiculous.

    glad you got away okay… kudos for throwing punches. they’re not used to wily victims like you :) fuckers.

  14. It’s impossible to know what the best reaction is in that situation.

    If you resist, they could pull out a gun (or a trident or …) and things could get really messy.

    If you don’t, you’ve just become a weak/easy mark and you’re out a wallet, cash, what have you.

    Either way, Colin, glad to hear you came out of it OK!

  15. It’s impossible to know what the best reaction is in that situation.

    If you resist, they could pull out a gun (or a trident or …) and things could get really messy.

    If you don’t, you’ve just become a weak/easy mark and you’re out a wallet, cash, what have you.

    Either way, Colin, glad to hear you came out of it OK!

  16. It’s impossible to know what the best reaction is in that situation.

    If you resist, they could pull out a gun (or a trident or …) and things could get really messy.

    If you don’t, you’ve just become a weak/easy mark and you’re out a wallet, cash, what have you.

    Either way, Colin, glad to hear you came out of it OK!

  17. It’s impossible to know what the best reaction is in that situation.

    If you resist, they could pull out a gun (or a trident or …) and things could get really messy.

    If you don’t, you’ve just become a weak/easy mark and you’re out a wallet, cash, what have you.

    Either way, Colin, glad to hear you came out of it OK!

  18. @Milly: Not a bad idea! Will have to hop a Radio Taxi next time, or maybe I’ll get lucky enough to go home with someone :)

    @Nate: Thank you sir! It definitely could have been much worse, and I’ll be much better prepared next time.

    @Paul: Oh man, the adrenaline was definitely pumping. I did make sure to walk off really quickly, though, so fortunately things didn’t escalate!

    @Mischa: Yeah, I thought about that. Fortunately the lobby is locked, but I didn’t have a lot of other options at the moment; the streets were empty and I was concerned that if I just kept walking they would follow. I’m thinking I’ll just be a whole lot more careful in the future..up to this point I was thinking this part of town was soooo safe, but I’ll be keeping my guard up a bit more even around here from now on.

    @Laura: No kidding! Yeesh!

    @Javier: Thanks for the comment, Javier! I’ll definitely be taking more taxis in the future, and watching out for teenagers (kids today!). Might be time to take up boxing or something..that punch was pure luck!

    @Michael: Very true…I might have to come up with a new ‘sorry, no handouts’ phrase to use that’s easy to utter while walking quickly.

    @Kelly: I should keep you on hand as my dialogue writer…I’d have a whole lot more witty soundbite moments.

    @hello monkey: That is a hell of a story; butter knives? Wow. I’ll definitely stay wily and if I come across any youthful gangsters with blunt knives, I’ll give them your best!

    @Mike: Man, I’m glad they didn’t have a trident! I was definitely trying not to take out my wallet, show the wad of cash, etc, so I think in the future I’ll be carrying a few medium-sized bills in my other pocket that I can whip out if necessary.

    Thanks for all the great comments, folks! This has definitely been a learning experience for me, and it’s great to get further input!

  19. @Milly: Not a bad idea! Will have to hop a Radio Taxi next time, or maybe I’ll get lucky enough to go home with someone :)

    @Nate: Thank you sir! It definitely could have been much worse, and I’ll be much better prepared next time.

    @Paul: Oh man, the adrenaline was definitely pumping. I did make sure to walk off really quickly, though, so fortunately things didn’t escalate!

    @Mischa: Yeah, I thought about that. Fortunately the lobby is locked, but I didn’t have a lot of other options at the moment; the streets were empty and I was concerned that if I just kept walking they would follow. I’m thinking I’ll just be a whole lot more careful in the future..up to this point I was thinking this part of town was soooo safe, but I’ll be keeping my guard up a bit more even around here from now on.

    @Laura: No kidding! Yeesh!

    @Javier: Thanks for the comment, Javier! I’ll definitely be taking more taxis in the future, and watching out for teenagers (kids today!). Might be time to take up boxing or something..that punch was pure luck!

    @Michael: Very true…I might have to come up with a new ‘sorry, no handouts’ phrase to use that’s easy to utter while walking quickly.

    @Kelly: I should keep you on hand as my dialogue writer…I’d have a whole lot more witty soundbite moments.

    @hello monkey: That is a hell of a story; butter knives? Wow. I’ll definitely stay wily and if I come across any youthful gangsters with blunt knives, I’ll give them your best!

    @Mike: Man, I’m glad they didn’t have a trident! I was definitely trying not to take out my wallet, show the wad of cash, etc, so I think in the future I’ll be carrying a few medium-sized bills in my other pocket that I can whip out if necessary.

    Thanks for all the great comments, folks! This has definitely been a learning experience for me, and it’s great to get further input!

  20. @Milly: Not a bad idea! Will have to hop a Radio Taxi next time, or maybe I’ll get lucky enough to go home with someone :)

    @Nate: Thank you sir! It definitely could have been much worse, and I’ll be much better prepared next time.

    @Paul: Oh man, the adrenaline was definitely pumping. I did make sure to walk off really quickly, though, so fortunately things didn’t escalate!

    @Mischa: Yeah, I thought about that. Fortunately the lobby is locked, but I didn’t have a lot of other options at the moment; the streets were empty and I was concerned that if I just kept walking they would follow. I’m thinking I’ll just be a whole lot more careful in the future..up to this point I was thinking this part of town was soooo safe, but I’ll be keeping my guard up a bit more even around here from now on.

    @Laura: No kidding! Yeesh!

    @Javier: Thanks for the comment, Javier! I’ll definitely be taking more taxis in the future, and watching out for teenagers (kids today!). Might be time to take up boxing or something..that punch was pure luck!

    @Michael: Very true…I might have to come up with a new ‘sorry, no handouts’ phrase to use that’s easy to utter while walking quickly.

    @Kelly: I should keep you on hand as my dialogue writer…I’d have a whole lot more witty soundbite moments.

    @hello monkey: That is a hell of a story; butter knives? Wow. I’ll definitely stay wily and if I come across any youthful gangsters with blunt knives, I’ll give them your best!

    @Mike: Man, I’m glad they didn’t have a trident! I was definitely trying not to take out my wallet, show the wad of cash, etc, so I think in the future I’ll be carrying a few medium-sized bills in my other pocket that I can whip out if necessary.

    Thanks for all the great comments, folks! This has definitely been a learning experience for me, and it’s great to get further input!

  21. @Milly: Not a bad idea! Will have to hop a Radio Taxi next time, or maybe I’ll get lucky enough to go home with someone :)

    @Nate: Thank you sir! It definitely could have been much worse, and I’ll be much better prepared next time.

    @Paul: Oh man, the adrenaline was definitely pumping. I did make sure to walk off really quickly, though, so fortunately things didn’t escalate!

    @Mischa: Yeah, I thought about that. Fortunately the lobby is locked, but I didn’t have a lot of other options at the moment; the streets were empty and I was concerned that if I just kept walking they would follow. I’m thinking I’ll just be a whole lot more careful in the future..up to this point I was thinking this part of town was soooo safe, but I’ll be keeping my guard up a bit more even around here from now on.

    @Laura: No kidding! Yeesh!

    @Javier: Thanks for the comment, Javier! I’ll definitely be taking more taxis in the future, and watching out for teenagers (kids today!). Might be time to take up boxing or something..that punch was pure luck!

    @Michael: Very true…I might have to come up with a new ‘sorry, no handouts’ phrase to use that’s easy to utter while walking quickly.

    @Kelly: I should keep you on hand as my dialogue writer…I’d have a whole lot more witty soundbite moments.

    @hello monkey: That is a hell of a story; butter knives? Wow. I’ll definitely stay wily and if I come across any youthful gangsters with blunt knives, I’ll give them your best!

    @Mike: Man, I’m glad they didn’t have a trident! I was definitely trying not to take out my wallet, show the wad of cash, etc, so I think in the future I’ll be carrying a few medium-sized bills in my other pocket that I can whip out if necessary.

    Thanks for all the great comments, folks! This has definitely been a learning experience for me, and it’s great to get further input!

  22. Next time you see weirdos trying to hide in the shadows and you know you’re going to have to walk past them, smile and say hi or make small talk. It trips them up because it’s an indicator that you’re 1.) nice (and you speak the language!) and 2.) aware of what they look like and the fact that they’re there in the first place. Plus, always act as though you speak more of the language than you actually do. Feigning ignorance is a sure way to get yourself into trouble. Glad you’re okay though.

  23. Next time you see weirdos trying to hide in the shadows and you know you’re going to have to walk past them, smile and say hi or make small talk. It trips them up because it’s an indicator that you’re 1.) nice (and you speak the language!) and 2.) aware of what they look like and the fact that they’re there in the first place. Plus, always act as though you speak more of the language than you actually do. Feigning ignorance is a sure way to get yourself into trouble. Glad you’re okay though.

  24. Next time you see weirdos trying to hide in the shadows and you know you’re going to have to walk past them, smile and say hi or make small talk. It trips them up because it’s an indicator that you’re 1.) nice (and you speak the language!) and 2.) aware of what they look like and the fact that they’re there in the first place. Plus, always act as though you speak more of the language than you actually do. Feigning ignorance is a sure way to get yourself into trouble. Glad you’re okay though.

  25. Next time you see weirdos trying to hide in the shadows and you know you’re going to have to walk past them, smile and say hi or make small talk. It trips them up because it’s an indicator that you’re 1.) nice (and you speak the language!) and 2.) aware of what they look like and the fact that they’re there in the first place. Plus, always act as though you speak more of the language than you actually do. Feigning ignorance is a sure way to get yourself into trouble. Glad you’re okay though.

  26. I think keeping a few bucks in a different pocket is a great idea. When I traveled through Mexico, that’s what I did. Never got jumped though.

    Carrying pepper spray might also not be a bad idea. I think I will be packing mine, as I do not trust my Chuck Norris skills against a 280lber. Nuh uh. Nope. …and I have a mean roundhouse kick.

    Super glad you came out of that unscathed though. Way to be awesome!

  27. I think keeping a few bucks in a different pocket is a great idea. When I traveled through Mexico, that’s what I did. Never got jumped though.

    Carrying pepper spray might also not be a bad idea. I think I will be packing mine, as I do not trust my Chuck Norris skills against a 280lber. Nuh uh. Nope. …and I have a mean roundhouse kick.

    Super glad you came out of that unscathed though. Way to be awesome!

  28. I think keeping a few bucks in a different pocket is a great idea. When I traveled through Mexico, that’s what I did. Never got jumped though.

    Carrying pepper spray might also not be a bad idea. I think I will be packing mine, as I do not trust my Chuck Norris skills against a 280lber. Nuh uh. Nope. …and I have a mean roundhouse kick.

    Super glad you came out of that unscathed though. Way to be awesome!

  29. What a fright! Glad you made it out ok.

    Thankfully I never had to deal with that in the foriegn cities I was in but being a gal I did make sure to take a taxi after dark and an umbrella….even in the summer. Something about having an object in my hands that I could bat with made me feel more safe.

    Here’s hoping you don’t have to go through that again.

  30. I think keeping a few bucks in a different pocket is a great idea. When I traveled through Mexico, that’s what I did. Never got jumped though.

    Carrying pepper spray might also not be a bad idea. I think I will be packing mine, as I do not trust my Chuck Norris skills against a 280lber. Nuh uh. Nope. …and I have a mean roundhouse kick.

    Super glad you came out of that unscathed though. Way to be awesome!

  31. What a fright! Glad you made it out ok.

    Thankfully I never had to deal with that in the foriegn cities I was in but being a gal I did make sure to take a taxi after dark and an umbrella….even in the summer. Something about having an object in my hands that I could bat with made me feel more safe.

    Here’s hoping you don’t have to go through that again.

  32. Who needs taxi’s when you’re vending knuckle sammiches? Well played, senor. Well played.

  33. Who needs taxi’s when you’re vending knuckle sammiches? Well played, senor. Well played.

  34. Who needs taxi’s when you’re vending knuckle sammiches? Well played, senor. Well played.

  35. Who needs taxi’s when you’re vending knuckle sammiches? Well played, senor. Well played.

  36. Ronni, James and I stayed out really late during the 14 days we were in London, Paris, Belfast and Dublin. On the Tube and Metro, there were times at night when I thought, hmmm….if someone wanted to enact nastiness, what would we do? Fortunately nothing happened, though those cities are in a different category than Buenos Aires. Think the best solution is cabs, which we took twice after midnight (when the Tube and Metro close down). Can’t beat getting delivered in a vehicle with locked doors to your hotel entrance…

    Quite the adventure Colin. It’s a whole different world out there at 5am…

  37. Ronni, James and I stayed out really late during the 14 days we were in London, Paris, Belfast and Dublin. On the Tube and Metro, there were times at night when I thought, hmmm….if someone wanted to enact nastiness, what would we do? Fortunately nothing happened, though those cities are in a different category than Buenos Aires. Think the best solution is cabs, which we took twice after midnight (when the Tube and Metro close down). Can’t beat getting delivered in a vehicle with locked doors to your hotel entrance…

    Quite the adventure Colin. It’s a whole different world out there at 5am…

  38. Ronni, James and I stayed out really late during the 14 days we were in London, Paris, Belfast and Dublin. On the Tube and Metro, there were times at night when I thought, hmmm….if someone wanted to enact nastiness, what would we do? Fortunately nothing happened, though those cities are in a different category than Buenos Aires. Think the best solution is cabs, which we took twice after midnight (when the Tube and Metro close down). Can’t beat getting delivered in a vehicle with locked doors to your hotel entrance…

    Quite the adventure Colin. It’s a whole different world out there at 5am…

  39. Ronni, James and I stayed out really late during the 14 days we were in London, Paris, Belfast and Dublin. On the Tube and Metro, there were times at night when I thought, hmmm….if someone wanted to enact nastiness, what would we do? Fortunately nothing happened, though those cities are in a different category than Buenos Aires. Think the best solution is cabs, which we took twice after midnight (when the Tube and Metro close down). Can’t beat getting delivered in a vehicle with locked doors to your hotel entrance…

    Quite the adventure Colin. It’s a whole different world out there at 5am…

  40. @Eve: Ah, great advice. Something I would probably usually do, too, but for some reason it didn’t cross my mind at the moment. Seems like you may have some experience with this kind of situation?

    @Kristin: Yeah, I’m hoping I don’t come across another bad situation while I’m here, but as a ‘just in case’ measure, I’ll definitely have some money ready. Not sure about pepper spray…it’s something I would have to gt rid of before traveling, since I only have my carry-on, and I’m trying to avoid accumulating things like that.

    @Restless Mama: Thanks! I’d very likely stand out like a sore thumb with an umbrella here in BA, but it’s not a bad idea to have SOMETHING that could be used if you’re backed into a corner. Brass knuckles with my name backwards on them would be the classy way to do it, methinks.

    @Jesse: Haha, yeah, I got very lucky, because honestly I have no idea HOW to punch, much less make it hit where I want. I think it came down to them being just a teeny bit off their game that night or something.

    @John: Yeah, I haven’t ridden the Subte (Buenos Aires subway) yet, and it’s partially because I’m loving all the walking and partially because I know at first, no matter what city you’re in, there’s a learning curve for the mass transit and I haven’t been in a situation where I could be certain I’d have enough time and feel safe enough to make it work. Definitely need to check it out while I’m here, though, even though taxis are fairly cheap hereabouts.

  41. @Eve: Ah, great advice. Something I would probably usually do, too, but for some reason it didn’t cross my mind at the moment. Seems like you may have some experience with this kind of situation?

    @Kristin: Yeah, I’m hoping I don’t come across another bad situation while I’m here, but as a ‘just in case’ measure, I’ll definitely have some money ready. Not sure about pepper spray…it’s something I would have to gt rid of before traveling, since I only have my carry-on, and I’m trying to avoid accumulating things like that.

    @Restless Mama: Thanks! I’d very likely stand out like a sore thumb with an umbrella here in BA, but it’s not a bad idea to have SOMETHING that could be used if you’re backed into a corner. Brass knuckles with my name backwards on them would be the classy way to do it, methinks.

    @Jesse: Haha, yeah, I got very lucky, because honestly I have no idea HOW to punch, much less make it hit where I want. I think it came down to them being just a teeny bit off their game that night or something.

    @John: Yeah, I haven’t ridden the Subte (Buenos Aires subway) yet, and it’s partially because I’m loving all the walking and partially because I know at first, no matter what city you’re in, there’s a learning curve for the mass transit and I haven’t been in a situation where I could be certain I’d have enough time and feel safe enough to make it work. Definitely need to check it out while I’m here, though, even though taxis are fairly cheap hereabouts.

  42. @Eve: Ah, great advice. Something I would probably usually do, too, but for some reason it didn’t cross my mind at the moment. Seems like you may have some experience with this kind of situation?

    @Kristin: Yeah, I’m hoping I don’t come across another bad situation while I’m here, but as a ‘just in case’ measure, I’ll definitely have some money ready. Not sure about pepper spray…it’s something I would have to gt rid of before traveling, since I only have my carry-on, and I’m trying to avoid accumulating things like that.

    @Restless Mama: Thanks! I’d very likely stand out like a sore thumb with an umbrella here in BA, but it’s not a bad idea to have SOMETHING that could be used if you’re backed into a corner. Brass knuckles with my name backwards on them would be the classy way to do it, methinks.

    @Jesse: Haha, yeah, I got very lucky, because honestly I have no idea HOW to punch, much less make it hit where I want. I think it came down to them being just a teeny bit off their game that night or something.

    @John: Yeah, I haven’t ridden the Subte (Buenos Aires subway) yet, and it’s partially because I’m loving all the walking and partially because I know at first, no matter what city you’re in, there’s a learning curve for the mass transit and I haven’t been in a situation where I could be certain I’d have enough time and feel safe enough to make it work. Definitely need to check it out while I’m here, though, even though taxis are fairly cheap hereabouts.

  43. @Eve: Ah, great advice. Something I would probably usually do, too, but for some reason it didn’t cross my mind at the moment. Seems like you may have some experience with this kind of situation?

    @Kristin: Yeah, I’m hoping I don’t come across another bad situation while I’m here, but as a ‘just in case’ measure, I’ll definitely have some money ready. Not sure about pepper spray…it’s something I would have to gt rid of before traveling, since I only have my carry-on, and I’m trying to avoid accumulating things like that.

    @Restless Mama: Thanks! I’d very likely stand out like a sore thumb with an umbrella here in BA, but it’s not a bad idea to have SOMETHING that could be used if you’re backed into a corner. Brass knuckles with my name backwards on them would be the classy way to do it, methinks.

    @Jesse: Haha, yeah, I got very lucky, because honestly I have no idea HOW to punch, much less make it hit where I want. I think it came down to them being just a teeny bit off their game that night or something.

    @John: Yeah, I haven’t ridden the Subte (Buenos Aires subway) yet, and it’s partially because I’m loving all the walking and partially because I know at first, no matter what city you’re in, there’s a learning curve for the mass transit and I haven’t been in a situation where I could be certain I’d have enough time and feel safe enough to make it work. Definitely need to check it out while I’m here, though, even though taxis are fairly cheap hereabouts.

  44. Every traveling adventure needs some kind of confrontation/close encounter story! But yes, its good to be reminded that taking a taxi after a certain time especially in a foreign country is the best option. Glad you were safe!

  45. Every traveling adventure needs some kind of confrontation/close encounter story! But yes, its good to be reminded that taking a taxi after a certain time especially in a foreign country is the best option. Glad you were safe!

  46. Every traveling adventure needs some kind of confrontation/close encounter story! But yes, its good to be reminded that taking a taxi after a certain time especially in a foreign country is the best option. Glad you were safe!

  47. Every traveling adventure needs some kind of confrontation/close encounter story! But yes, its good to be reminded that taking a taxi after a certain time especially in a foreign country is the best option. Glad you were safe!

  48. Great story….I’d like to see more of these day to day (or night to night) experiences you have while living abroad in different countries….since I also aspire to live in Buenos Aires.

    Glad there was a happy end to this story too! Thanks for the advice…

    Ronnie

  49. Great story….I’d like to see more of these day to day (or night to night) experiences you have while living abroad in different countries….since I also aspire to live in Buenos Aires.

    Glad there was a happy end to this story too! Thanks for the advice…

    Ronnie

  50. Great story….I’d like to see more of these day to day (or night to night) experiences you have while living abroad in different countries….since I also aspire to live in Buenos Aires.

    Glad there was a happy end to this story too! Thanks for the advice…

    Ronnie

  51. Great story….I’d like to see more of these day to day (or night to night) experiences you have while living abroad in different countries….since I also aspire to live in Buenos Aires.

    Glad there was a happy end to this story too! Thanks for the advice…

    Ronnie

  52. Be careful. They will straight up desaparecido you. Kidding.

    How much is the peso worth these days? I’ve lost track of Argentine financial crises and currency devaluations.

    Last question – who’s gonna win the presidency after Ms. Kirchner? Another Peronista?

  53. Be careful. They will straight up desaparecido you. Kidding.

    How much is the peso worth these days? I’ve lost track of Argentine financial crises and currency devaluations.

    Last question – who’s gonna win the presidency after Ms. Kirchner? Another Peronista?

  54. Be careful. They will straight up desaparecido you. Kidding.

    How much is the peso worth these days? I’ve lost track of Argentine financial crises and currency devaluations.

    Last question – who’s gonna win the presidency after Ms. Kirchner? Another Peronista?

  55. Be careful. They will straight up desaparecido you. Kidding.

    How much is the peso worth these days? I’ve lost track of Argentine financial crises and currency devaluations.

    Last question – who’s gonna win the presidency after Ms. Kirchner? Another Peronista?

  56. Holy crap man! Be careful..I’ve been in a few sketchy situations like that before while traveling around oz. One thing I have learned as a single female traveler. Don’t get drunk and walk home alone. I’ve had to say incredibly aware of my surroundings and remain conservative in the drinks department. Glad to see you are having a ball though. I’m also liking how you are mixing your travel with other business, location independent topics…keep it up!

  57. Holy crap man! Be careful..I’ve been in a few sketchy situations like that before while traveling around oz. One thing I have learned as a single female traveler. Don’t get drunk and walk home alone. I’ve had to say incredibly aware of my surroundings and remain conservative in the drinks department. Glad to see you are having a ball though. I’m also liking how you are mixing your travel with other business, location independent topics…keep it up!

  58. Holy crap man! Be careful..I’ve been in a few sketchy situations like that before while traveling around oz. One thing I have learned as a single female traveler. Don’t get drunk and walk home alone. I’ve had to say incredibly aware of my surroundings and remain conservative in the drinks department. Glad to see you are having a ball though. I’m also liking how you are mixing your travel with other business, location independent topics…keep it up!

  59. Holy crap man! Be careful..I’ve been in a few sketchy situations like that before while traveling around oz. One thing I have learned as a single female traveler. Don’t get drunk and walk home alone. I’ve had to say incredibly aware of my surroundings and remain conservative in the drinks department. Glad to see you are having a ball though. I’m also liking how you are mixing your travel with other business, location independent topics…keep it up!

  60. @Kristin Quinn: Yeah, I figure I got it out of the way now, and hopefully it startled me enough to encourage more taxi use (after living in LA for so long, though, I love having the opportunity to walk everywhere!).

    @Ronnie: Thanks! I plan on working more experiences and adventures into the posts now that I know a bit more about the place, so hopefully I’ll be able to keep you coming back!

    @Braeden: Haha! The peso is hovering between 3.82 and 3.89 when compared to the USD…not bad, but not the best ever. Not sure about the political climate…most people that I speak to tell me they don’t care about local politics, and that American politics are much more interesting (I think ours are just more publicized, personally, because of all the 24-hour news stations coming out of the US). I’ll keep asking around and get back to you, though.

    @Amber: Thanks for the advice, Amber! I’ll do my best to not be drunk, single or female when walking home :) But seriously, I definitely have been keeping the drinking to a minimum (it helps that people don’t get ‘trashed’ here like in the US…more moderated all around). Glad you’re liking the evolving style! Still working on locking down my writing ‘voice,’ so it’s great to get feedback on that.

    @Jonny: Haha, I wish! That would have been an even better story! I actually just went through the old photos I have on a hard drive and picked the least threatening one I could possibly find (trying to make it very clear that I’m not some kind of badass for whom physical confrontation is a normal thing). The bonus is that it KIND OF looks like the robe a boxer would wear before going into the ring. No? Yeah, you’re right…

  61. @Kristin Quinn: Yeah, I figure I got it out of the way now, and hopefully it startled me enough to encourage more taxi use (after living in LA for so long, though, I love having the opportunity to walk everywhere!).

    @Ronnie: Thanks! I plan on working more experiences and adventures into the posts now that I know a bit more about the place, so hopefully I’ll be able to keep you coming back!

    @Braeden: Haha! The peso is hovering between 3.82 and 3.89 when compared to the USD…not bad, but not the best ever. Not sure about the political climate…most people that I speak to tell me they don’t care about local politics, and that American politics are much more interesting (I think ours are just more publicized, personally, because of all the 24-hour news stations coming out of the US). I’ll keep asking around and get back to you, though.

    @Amber: Thanks for the advice, Amber! I’ll do my best to not be drunk, single or female when walking home :) But seriously, I definitely have been keeping the drinking to a minimum (it helps that people don’t get ‘trashed’ here like in the US…more moderated all around). Glad you’re liking the evolving style! Still working on locking down my writing ‘voice,’ so it’s great to get feedback on that.

    @Jonny: Haha, I wish! That would have been an even better story! I actually just went through the old photos I have on a hard drive and picked the least threatening one I could possibly find (trying to make it very clear that I’m not some kind of badass for whom physical confrontation is a normal thing). The bonus is that it KIND OF looks like the robe a boxer would wear before going into the ring. No? Yeah, you’re right…

  62. Dude, were you wearing that baller smoking jacket when you did it, cuz that’s effing awesome! :)

    Na, really though, sorry to hear about your misfortune but it sounds like you handled it swimmingly. Unfortunately someone lifted my engraved Florentine leather wallet without me noticing a couple weeks ago in a crowded Bangkok night market. Slick, sneaky bastards! Reporting the lost cards and waiting on new shit from the bank was a pain, but I miss my damn wallet most! Sentimental value. First time I’ve been robbed in ten months here in Thailand (and thankfully no violence yet—they’re very chill people out here).

    Anyway, everyone’s gotta be careful and keep their wits about them out there, not just traveling but at home too.

  63. Dude, were you wearing that baller smoking jacket when you did it, cuz that’s effing awesome! :)

    Na, really though, sorry to hear about your misfortune but it sounds like you handled it swimmingly. Unfortunately someone lifted my engraved Florentine leather wallet without me noticing a couple weeks ago in a crowded Bangkok night market. Slick, sneaky bastards! Reporting the lost cards and waiting on new shit from the bank was a pain, but I miss my damn wallet most! Sentimental value. First time I’ve been robbed in ten months here in Thailand (and thankfully no violence yet—they’re very chill people out here).

    Anyway, everyone’s gotta be careful and keep their wits about them out there, not just traveling but at home too.

  64. Dude, were you wearing that baller smoking jacket when you did it, cuz that’s effing awesome! :)

    Na, really though, sorry to hear about your misfortune but it sounds like you handled it swimmingly. Unfortunately someone lifted my engraved Florentine leather wallet without me noticing a couple weeks ago in a crowded Bangkok night market. Slick, sneaky bastards! Reporting the lost cards and waiting on new shit from the bank was a pain, but I miss my damn wallet most! Sentimental value. First time I’ve been robbed in ten months here in Thailand (and thankfully no violence yet—they’re very chill people out here).

    Anyway, everyone’s gotta be careful and keep their wits about them out there, not just traveling but at home too.

  65. Dude, were you wearing that baller smoking jacket when you did it, cuz that’s effing awesome! :)

    Na, really though, sorry to hear about your misfortune but it sounds like you handled it swimmingly. Unfortunately someone lifted my engraved Florentine leather wallet without me noticing a couple weeks ago in a crowded Bangkok night market. Slick, sneaky bastards! Reporting the lost cards and waiting on new shit from the bank was a pain, but I miss my damn wallet most! Sentimental value. First time I’ve been robbed in ten months here in Thailand (and thankfully no violence yet—they’re very chill people out here).

    Anyway, everyone’s gotta be careful and keep their wits about them out there, not just traveling but at home too.

  66. First time I’ve actually read this post and its comments.

    As far as arming yourself goes, your keys are a great friend, especially if you’re not confident in your skills hand-to-hand. Hold the ring in your hand with keys clenched between the index, middle, and ring fingers, and you can do a tremendous amount of damage, especially to soft targets (eyes, throat, temples, solar plexus, etc.). Probably not recommended unless they’re armed or threatening violence, though.

    I’m not sure I’d play the “I don’t speak your language” card, though. Someone who speaks the language is a worse target – they have a better chance of knowing they’re being scammed, have a far better chance of having/getting help, and are far more capable of involving police after the fact. From my experience, anyway, the guy who can’t understand you and who no one understands is a far “safer,” more anonymous target.

  67. First time I’ve actually read this post and its comments.

    As far as arming yourself goes, your keys are a great friend, especially if you’re not confident in your skills hand-to-hand. Hold the ring in your hand with keys clenched between the index, middle, and ring fingers, and you can do a tremendous amount of damage, especially to soft targets (eyes, throat, temples, solar plexus, etc.). Probably not recommended unless they’re armed or threatening violence, though.

    I’m not sure I’d play the “I don’t speak your language” card, though. Someone who speaks the language is a worse target – they have a better chance of knowing they’re being scammed, have a far better chance of having/getting help, and are far more capable of involving police after the fact. From my experience, anyway, the guy who can’t understand you and who no one understands is a far “safer,” more anonymous target.

  68. First time I’ve actually read this post and its comments.

    As far as arming yourself goes, your keys are a great friend, especially if you’re not confident in your skills hand-to-hand. Hold the ring in your hand with keys clenched between the index, middle, and ring fingers, and you can do a tremendous amount of damage, especially to soft targets (eyes, throat, temples, solar plexus, etc.). Probably not recommended unless they’re armed or threatening violence, though.

    I’m not sure I’d play the “I don’t speak your language” card, though. Someone who speaks the language is a worse target – they have a better chance of knowing they’re being scammed, have a far better chance of having/getting help, and are far more capable of involving police after the fact. From my experience, anyway, the guy who can’t understand you and who no one understands is a far “safer,” more anonymous target.

  69. First time I’ve actually read this post and its comments.

    As far as arming yourself goes, your keys are a great friend, especially if you’re not confident in your skills hand-to-hand. Hold the ring in your hand with keys clenched between the index, middle, and ring fingers, and you can do a tremendous amount of damage, especially to soft targets (eyes, throat, temples, solar plexus, etc.). Probably not recommended unless they’re armed or threatening violence, though.

    I’m not sure I’d play the “I don’t speak your language” card, though. Someone who speaks the language is a worse target – they have a better chance of knowing they’re being scammed, have a far better chance of having/getting help, and are far more capable of involving police after the fact. From my experience, anyway, the guy who can’t understand you and who no one understands is a far “safer,” more anonymous target.

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  72. I’m a new reader to your site. I must first say that I really like your blog design and how you write, now on to my comment on this topic.

    You are not the first one to take that kind of action to save yourself from a tight spot. In fact I think it’s a primal response, so you really couldn’t avoid it the first time it comes.

    As you did, I have done it in the past. I also punched a teenager with a knife in his hand. A stupid thing to do here in Mexico City. I know it was not the best to do.

    It’s true what you say, you could have done a lot of things different, and I bet you will in the future, not only in Buenos Aires but also wherever your feet take you.

    Keep something in mind while you think about these new routes and what this experience means for you. You reacted based on fear and overcame it. That makes you a real human being and a person into my eyes.

    Of course now that your rational side has kicked in. It’s time to don’t go doing that stuff and avoid such situation. Good luck on what you want to do in the future!

  73. I’m a new reader to your site. I must first say that I really like your blog design and how you write, now on to my comment on this topic.

    You are not the first one to take that kind of action to save yourself from a tight spot. In fact I think it’s a primal response, so you really couldn’t avoid it the first time it comes.

    As you did, I have done it in the past. I also punched a teenager with a knife in his hand. A stupid thing to do here in Mexico City. I know it was not the best to do.

    It’s true what you say, you could have done a lot of things different, and I bet you will in the future, not only in Buenos Aires but also wherever your feet take you.

    Keep something in mind while you think about these new routes and what this experience means for you. You reacted based on fear and overcame it. That makes you a real human being and a person into my eyes.

    Of course now that your rational side has kicked in. It’s time to don’t go doing that stuff and avoid such situation. Good luck on what you want to do in the future!

  74. I’m a new reader to your site. I must first say that I really like your blog design and how you write, now on to my comment on this topic.

    You are not the first one to take that kind of action to save yourself from a tight spot. In fact I think it’s a primal response, so you really couldn’t avoid it the first time it comes.

    As you did, I have done it in the past. I also punched a teenager with a knife in his hand. A stupid thing to do here in Mexico City. I know it was not the best to do.

    It’s true what you say, you could have done a lot of things different, and I bet you will in the future, not only in Buenos Aires but also wherever your feet take you.

    Keep something in mind while you think about these new routes and what this experience means for you. You reacted based on fear and overcame it. That makes you a real human being and a person into my eyes.

    Of course now that your rational side has kicked in. It’s time to don’t go doing that stuff and avoid such situation. Good luck on what you want to do in the future!

  75. I’m a new reader to your site. I must first say that I really like your blog design and how you write, now on to my comment on this topic.

    You are not the first one to take that kind of action to save yourself from a tight spot. In fact I think it’s a primal response, so you really couldn’t avoid it the first time it comes.

    As you did, I have done it in the past. I also punched a teenager with a knife in his hand. A stupid thing to do here in Mexico City. I know it was not the best to do.

    It’s true what you say, you could have done a lot of things different, and I bet you will in the future, not only in Buenos Aires but also wherever your feet take you.

    Keep something in mind while you think about these new routes and what this experience means for you. You reacted based on fear and overcame it. That makes you a real human being and a person into my eyes.

    Of course now that your rational side has kicked in. It’s time to don’t go doing that stuff and avoid such situation. Good luck on what you want to do in the future!

  76. Pingback: Interview with Nomadic Artist Colin Wright | JetSetCitizen.com

  77. I saw your interview on Mixergy, then visited this site. Seems like it’s been a while since anyone commented here, but I’ll put my 2 cents in anyway:
    I’ve been mugged only once (in Ukraine). I went to an Internet cafe at about 6pm (it was winter, so it was already dark), noticing 3 skinheads (literally, with the shaved head, tattoos and all). Then, one guy approached & said something along the lines of “I need 20 hrivnah (local currency) for transport”. I said “Sorry, don’t have that much”.
    He replied “Please, I need money for my father (WTF?) or we (pointing to his friends) will not let you leave…”.
    I said “OK, wait a second”, pulled out exactly a 20 hryvnah bill (I had about 300 with me, which is about $40) and gave it to him, expecting him to ask for more or something. But he just took the money and went away.
    I quickly went to the second floor (where the cafe was) and never saw them again when I got out 2 hours later.

    I guess I was lucky, if they would’ve pressed for more money I would’ve had no choice but to fight or run. And if they had weapons, the situation would’ve got ugly pretty fast.
    Lesson learned: just give them the money. $5 won’t ruin your bank. BUT if they still don’t back off, create a confusion and escape (which is exactly what you did).
    If you think that fighting is better or more honorable (which I do), remember the problems you could have in a foreign country at the police department. Now that’s where you really don’t want to be.

  78. I saw your interview on Mixergy, then visited this site. Seems like it’s been a while since anyone commented here, but I’ll put my 2 cents in anyway:
    I’ve been mugged only once (in Ukraine). I went to an Internet cafe at about 6pm (it was winter, so it was already dark), noticing 3 skinheads (literally, with the shaved head, tattoos and all). Then, one guy approached & said something along the lines of “I need 20 hrivnah (local currency) for transport”. I said “Sorry, don’t have that much”.
    He replied “Please, I need money for my father (WTF?) or we (pointing to his friends) will not let you leave…”.
    I said “OK, wait a second”, pulled out exactly a 20 hryvnah bill (I had about 300 with me, which is about $40) and gave it to him, expecting him to ask for more or something. But he just took the money and went away.
    I quickly went to the second floor (where the cafe was) and never saw them again when I got out 2 hours later.

    I guess I was lucky, if they would’ve pressed for more money I would’ve had no choice but to fight or run. And if they had weapons, the situation would’ve got ugly pretty fast.
    Lesson learned: just give them the money. $5 won’t ruin your bank. BUT if they still don’t back off, create a confusion and escape (which is exactly what you did).
    If you think that fighting is better or more honorable (which I do), remember the problems you could have in a foreign country at the police department. Now that’s where you really don’t want to be.

  79. I saw your interview on Mixergy, then visited this site. Seems like it’s been a while since anyone commented here, but I’ll put my 2 cents in anyway:
    I’ve been mugged only once (in Ukraine). I went to an Internet cafe at about 6pm (it was winter, so it was already dark), noticing 3 skinheads (literally, with the shaved head, tattoos and all). Then, one guy approached & said something along the lines of “I need 20 hrivnah (local currency) for transport”. I said “Sorry, don’t have that much”.
    He replied “Please, I need money for my father (WTF?) or we (pointing to his friends) will not let you leave…”.
    I said “OK, wait a second”, pulled out exactly a 20 hryvnah bill (I had about 300 with me, which is about $40) and gave it to him, expecting him to ask for more or something. But he just took the money and went away.
    I quickly went to the second floor (where the cafe was) and never saw them again when I got out 2 hours later.

    I guess I was lucky, if they would’ve pressed for more money I would’ve had no choice but to fight or run. And if they had weapons, the situation would’ve got ugly pretty fast.
    Lesson learned: just give them the money. $5 won’t ruin your bank. BUT if they still don’t back off, create a confusion and escape (which is exactly what you did).
    If you think that fighting is better or more honorable (which I do), remember the problems you could have in a foreign country at the police department. Now that’s where you really don’t want to be.

  80. I saw your interview on Mixergy, then visited this site. Seems like it’s been a while since anyone commented here, but I’ll put my 2 cents in anyway:
    I’ve been mugged only once (in Ukraine). I went to an Internet cafe at about 6pm (it was winter, so it was already dark), noticing 3 skinheads (literally, with the shaved head, tattoos and all). Then, one guy approached & said something along the lines of “I need 20 hrivnah (local currency) for transport”. I said “Sorry, don’t have that much”.
    He replied “Please, I need money for my father (WTF?) or we (pointing to his friends) will not let you leave…”.
    I said “OK, wait a second”, pulled out exactly a 20 hryvnah bill (I had about 300 with me, which is about $40) and gave it to him, expecting him to ask for more or something. But he just took the money and went away.
    I quickly went to the second floor (where the cafe was) and never saw them again when I got out 2 hours later.

    I guess I was lucky, if they would’ve pressed for more money I would’ve had no choice but to fight or run. And if they had weapons, the situation would’ve got ugly pretty fast.
    Lesson learned: just give them the money. $5 won’t ruin your bank. BUT if they still don’t back off, create a confusion and escape (which is exactly what you did).
    If you think that fighting is better or more honorable (which I do), remember the problems you could have in a foreign country at the police department. Now that’s where you really don’t want to be.

  81. I have a friend who moved to BA about a year and a half ago and she has been mugged three times(once at gunpoint) she has learned that they struggle to survive and everyone must to what they can. I’m glad you avoided getting hurt and learned a lesson and that your experience does not end up like my friends with repeated muggings

  82. I have a friend who moved to BA about a year and a half ago and she has been mugged three times(once at gunpoint) she has learned that they struggle to survive and everyone must to what they can. I’m glad you avoided getting hurt and learned a lesson and that your experience does not end up like my friends with repeated muggings

  83. I have a friend who moved to BA about a year and a half ago and she has been mugged three times(once at gunpoint) she has learned that they struggle to survive and everyone must to what they can. I’m glad you avoided getting hurt and learned a lesson and that your experience does not end up like my friends with repeated muggings

  84. I have a friend who moved to BA about a year and a half ago and she has been mugged three times(once at gunpoint) she has learned that they struggle to survive and everyone must to what they can. I’m glad you avoided getting hurt and learned a lesson and that your experience does not end up like my friends with repeated muggings

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  87. Colin,

    Adopting a don’t-fuck-with-me-lest-ye-be-fucked with swagger is crucial! However, it works both ways.

    One day in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua I was walking back to my hostel after a giant post-surfing dinner of ex-pat pizza, totally sun stoned and oblivious.

    I walked past a group of Nicas, swaggering, shirtless and may I say muscular. But I guess I looked at one of them a little too long (unintentional!) and he flipped out, started cursing and his buddies started priming for a showdown.

    I just walked by without saying anything but damn if I wasn’t a little freaked out. What with a gringo’s life being cheap and all down there…

    Anyway man…Cuidado!

    Buenas Ondas,
    Vic

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