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.