If it makes you feel any better (it probably wont), I had a camera and $500 emergency hidden cash stolen from my backpack while I was on a bus in Thailand. It was stowed underneath the bus on a 2 hour ride. I put the bag there myself after seeing how crowded the bus was, and it looked secure. Well it wasnt, I think they must have someone riding down there but however they do it, its impressive.
A similar thing happened when I complained to the bus company. They would not let me use their phone to call the police and they became extremely rude. When I called the police from a pay phone, they never arrived after I waited 2 hours. While I was waiting it got dark and the people on the streets were sizing me up and staring me down, I did not feel safe. I decided the money was not worth jeopardizing my safety or ruining my vacation, so I left.
I hate being a victim and letting the criminal get away with it but of the available options, I think I made the best choice. The rest of the trip was fantastic.
PS dont hide money inside a vitamin bottle in your toiletries bag, they look there!
I am no longer in Kisoro. I went to the bank, the manager and Mr. Agere said they did not have business cards.
I am 90 percent sure this is a broken machine problem. The money still shows pending.
He asked if I took money out. I said this machine cheated me three times, I will not volunteer to be cheated again.
Andy, but I dont understand why you depend on this money?
As a 10years + traveler, dont you have a security sum stored somewhere, say 500 dollars, that would allow you to cross the border and continue your trip to the next city (in a different country) to the next ATM.
I dont understand this phrase I dont have enough money to leave Ouganda. How is that possible?
Interesting text. You have a nice blog. Keep it up!
The just wait statement is pretty typical, even in the US. When the ATM messes up, they want you to wait until they can have a good view of the situation. The ATM emptied and accounted for, all computer transactions processed etc. The times I know of, everything was taken care of automatically. In fact, it is more likely to come out ahead in an error than behind. For example, I had an issue where I tried to get $200, but the machine stopped at $160. The bank voided the transaction. When I brought up their error, (Damned Christian Guilt) it was suggested that I forget about it.
This, of course, does not help the traveler, as waiting can be an issue, especially when you really need the money.
Be safe, Bob L
Neither Rwanda or Burundi have ATM machines. I do not use or do cash advances. Never.
I have 1,200,000 Shillings
Need 30 per day budget, plus cushion.
Ect.... And 20 things more. A decision is never one point.
No forced plays happen in my life, I only travel deliberately.
I received notification from the USA bank.
Stanbic Bank in Uganda has taken my money, I must file a dispute...this is like talking to a machine.
People look at me like Im crazy when I say I still rely on travelers checks. But checks can be replaced if you follow the protocol. That $450 is gone for good. The extra hassle of having checks approved by the bank manager is worth it in my opinion. Good luck.
Andy have your parents forward you $$ via Western union and GTF Out.
The plan ,read and figure it out.
In case of special or dire emergency, traveling to very remote areas, etc. Not pretty...but it works...have you ever read Papillon by Henri Charrierre?
We all undressed. I assumed we were going to be searched. I put my lancet under my bare right foot and bore my weight on my left. The steel cut into me, but the weapon was well hidden...
...The search turned up three knives, two sharpened nails, a corkscrew and a gold plan.
Papillon, Page 39
That plan, made out of gold, contained three hundred English pounds, two hundred dollars and two five-carat diamonds.
This is sure to get some stomachs churning in disgust. It was apparently common to retrieve your victims Plan from his gut after you or someone else killed him.
That is because the Plan was a small, smooth, metal cylinder that either had a screw-on lid or screwed/unscrewed in the middle and this is where you kept your money and other valuables.
I got my plan. It was a highly polished aluminum tube, that unscrewed right in the middle. It had a male half and a female half. It contained 5600 francs in new bills. When I got it, I kissed it. Yes, I kissed that little tube, two and a half inches long and as thick as your thumb, before shoving it into my anus. I took a deep breath so that it would lodge in the colon. It was my strongbox. They could make me take off all my clothes, spread my legs apart, make me cough or bend over double, for all the good it would do them. The plan was high up in the large intestine. It was a part of me. Inside me I carried my life, my freedom...
Papillon, Page 7
If a man (or men) thought you had a Plan in your gut, it might mean your Death Warrant because they would assassinate you at first opportunity and then gut you like a deer to get your Plan.
So, you never wanted to let on that you had a Plan because you could get killed for it. Many did.
Rene Belbenoit writes in his excellent book, Dry Guillotine:
Hespels story was discussed and repeated in the blockhouse. I heard it time and again before the day arrived on which he was scheduled to die. He had been the executioner at Saint Laurent for several years. In 1923 he, a libere, had escaped into the bush with the intention of making good his escape and it was then he had gained for himself a dreaded nickname: The Vampire of The Maroni!
For, at this time, he owned a dugout, and he made a business of taking escaping convicts over to the Dutch side of the [Maroni] river for 25 francs. But many of these evades had been found dead by the edge of the river: they had been murdered and, in every case, their abdomens had been cut open. These crimes had all been pinned on Hespel, who was suspected of having killed them, and then cut them open to grope in their bowels for their suppositories which, without doubt, contained money.
Dry Guillotine, Page 106
In the movie Papillon, Steve McQueen played Henri Charriere. Sitting on a hammock and speaking with another prisoner on the (ship) voyage on the way to French Guiana, he sums it up succinctly:
Were really something, arent we? The only animals in the world that will shove things up their ass for survival.
The picture below is McQueen stuffing the (movie prop) Plan with money.
Henri carried two Plans at one time, one belonging to another man who was terrified of being killed for it, here is an exchange between this man and Charriere:
\I cant carry my plan anymore. Ive got dysentery. I dont know who to trust and Im scared someone will steal it or the guards will find it. Please, Papillon, carry it for me for a few days. And he showed me a plan much bigger than mine. I was afraid it was a trap, that he was asking me this to find out if I had one. If I told him I wasnt sure I could carry two, hed know. So I asked him coldly, How much is in it?
Twenty-five thousand francs.
Without another word I took his plan. Very clean it was, too, and right there in front of him I pushed it up my anus, wondering if it was possible for a man to carry two. I had no idea. I stood up, put my pants back on...it was all right. It didnt bother me.
My name is Ignace Galgani, he said before leaving. Thanks, Papillon.\
Papillon, Page 29
In the movie Papillon, Henris friend, Louis Dega, being handicapped without prescription eyeglasses, found a pair small enough to be disassembled and placed in his own Plan.
The character in the movie Papillon who asks Henri for his knife so he can cut his own leg and then fakes a hard fall so he can get to the hospital actually had his own small folding pocketknife in his own Plan in the book Papillon.
[Julot] He also had a very small, very sharp knife, really a penknife, in his plan. As we docked, he planned to cut his knee open. Then, as he was leaving the boat, he would fall off the ladder in front of everybody. He hoped hed be carried from the wharf directly to the hospital. And he was.
Papillon, Page 42-43
Rene Belbenoit, survivor and escapee from French Guiana and author of Dry Guillotine, wrote extensively about the Plan and Plan devasion
Also when I was driving in Mexico to Central America in 1986, had the bulk of my cash (I had no credit card) in false heels of my shoes, false heels can be be made by any decent shoemaker in any developing country, the Mexican Federales gave up trying to find my cash and took a few things like Walkmans and such. I had all my savings in those false heels, before my trip, my Aunt, a Canadian citizen resident in Mexico City, had taken me to the market, and as well had provided me with constancias letters of reference, from high Mexican official, she was more proactive than I, one of teh cops had a gun to my head and felt he really wanted to kill me.
Thieves, who today cell phone ahead to cronies or corrupt police, hit hard and fast and when one is out in a remote corner of Earth, well always put SOME of your cash where they cannot find it in a hurry.
I was drugged by locals and had four hundred dollars stolen from me in Colombia ....Count your blessings and get out !!! Moving is smart and keen of you ...keep it going ! Honestly the thrill of whats going on right now is priceless ! I know this because Im addicted to moving around too...Ive been mugged ,robbed and scammed preparing myself to out there and take some more jajaja! I thought maybe this would cheer you up?! Smile...take a deep breath ....GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE!!!! Sending you a kiss and a smile ...from ny ny