Over dinner last month, we were talking to an Emirati-Canadian colleague whose parents are visiting Egypt. His father borrowed his newly purchased sunglasses. “Mine is very expensive, the thieves in Egypt like sunglasses. So, let yours be stolen.”
Yesterday, a good friend visited me at home to avail a free pork steak and desserts for dinner while intently watching TFC. She’s still staying in the hotel (with her second week in UAE) and quite sucked up with non-Filipino channels. We were chatting until almost midnight (time flies when you’re having fun) as if there’s no office the next day. She asked me how to combat those malicious looks coming from strangers. Not to exaggerate, but if you’re new in this part of the world it’s either you’d feel too embarrassed or too amused that most of the men (of particular nationalities, I’m not telling) will look at you as if that’s the first time they’ve seen another gender. Hence, I told her the nicest technique. Whenever applicable, to pretend (declare) that she’s married. She shall be safe then. If she needs to be safer, tell that her husband and children are waiting for her.
Now, there’s this article in NY Times today, 15 tips to avoid bandits. It says,
If you’re a woman held up in an isolated area, stick out your stomach, pat it and signal that you’re pregnant. You might also invest in a cheap wedding band, for imaginary husbands deflect unwanted suitors.
I told you.
But one of the 15 tips screams,
Don’t wear a nice watch, for that suggests a fat wallet and also makes a target. I learned that lesson on my first trip to the Philippines: a robber with a machete had just encountered a Japanese businessman with a Rolex — who now, alas, has only one hand.
0 thoughts on “Avoiding the bandits”
correct yan wits! i actually read that from rick steves and applied it when we went to europe, especially on my Lourdes trip dahil mag-isa lang ako. i wore a wedding band-like ring to make it look like i’m married, as per rick steves to war away the “casablancas”. he! he!
i haven’t seen or heard of machete-wielding bandits in Manila. a “29” and guns are the usual weapons of holdupers here. baka yakuza yong japanese businessman.:D
my friend in dubai tells me how men of certain nationalities ogle at women there. and yes, she often pretends to be married to discourage sexual advances. all it takes is a bit of common sense when you’re traveling to a foreign place. don’t go to places where your mother won’t go.:D
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the machete story is scary. good thing i don’t wear anything expensive…lol. i do travel alone a lot of times, and i always make sure to stay with the crowd and not to stay out at nights. always exercise caution.
#12 was so funny:
“If you are held up by bandits with large guns, shake hands respectfully with each of your persecutors… I’ve even had thugs warmly exchange addresses with me, after robbing me.”
thanks for sharing this survival guide, wits. 🙂
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nice tips.. As for #14, I think it is better to sing O Canada in French to make it even more authentic 🙂
For women, not wearing sexy clothes definitely helps coz it lessens the attraction.
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very nice tips. thanks for sharing them with us Jo.
but good thing i have nothing expensive to wear. hehehe. here in manila, mas natatakot ako kapag medyo malapit na ang december kasi mas maraming holdupers ang gumagala.
blue roses last blog post..thank you very much Jo!
I pretty much suggest gals not wanting to be disturbed put on a fake wedding ring.
I remember one guy approached me and asked if I was married, and I said yes, but I didn’t have a wedding ring on, so I said I am having my ring fixed after he gestured my left hand ring finger was without a ring 🙂
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that machete crook is scary. fortunately, i dont wear any jewelry. also, i think people should minimize using their celphones in crowded areas, where snatches abound. 🙂
Tnx for the article. I might repost the article on my other site. 😀
I never thought of locking my backup or luggage in my hotel room. Then again, I usually travel light so I usually don’t have valuables to be stolen. hehe
A lot of safe traveling is just to blend in with the surroundings. In other words, I try not to look like a tourist. 😉
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A machete?! That’s too much. Most robbers here can get away with just an ice pick 😉 I used to pass by the Quiapo bridge when I was studying, and let me tell you, you’ll see all sorts of robbers there. The key is to not attract attention to yourself and act like you belong.
I think pretending to be pregnant here in pinas is not effective, you know naman dito sa atin, wlang patawad!
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nako, i remember too well how some people in Dubai/Abu Dhabi would stare at you like they haven’t seen a woman before, one time i was even in a bus (from Abu Dhabi going to Dubai) with my sister and a guy at my back started placing his hand at my shoulder… what the…
When I vacation in the Phils naman I never wear any jewelry, depending on the place that we’ll go to, I even remove my wedding ring sometimes.
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exagg naman yung nytimes about the watch – isn’t that an urban legend here? 🙂 oh, i agree with you about pretending to be married. when i was single, i used to wear a ring on my right hand that i discreetly transfer to my left hand (to indicate i was married kuno) if there are guys who i think were sleazily looking me up. worked all the time hehe.
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