PETER COMMENTS ON CAMERA STOLEN
The group of American Tourist I was with had a camera stolen in Cuzco, so Peter the Brit that caught up and traveled for 20 some days together in Iraq with me could not stop himself, so he sent me a commentary.
I keep trying to get him to set up a blog, but he resist.PETER COMMENTS ON TRAVEL THEFT
I was really sorry to hear about that camera getting stolen. I am getting to hear so many of those type of stories. Baggage getting stolen from buses, armed theft, countless scams etc etc. I have to admit that if it wasn't for Anne coming over in May/June, I'd be sorely tempted to skip Peru and take a bus straight through to Ecuador (where it may be just as bad!!). I also have to admit to getting a bit jerked off with those who say things like "theft happens everywhere and South America is no different than anywhere else on this planet". I believe that theft/scams etc can of course happen anywhere on this planet. The point that almost everyone seems to forget it that (for whatever reason), tourists/backpackers/westerners are seen as far more of a target than they are in almost the rest of this world. Therefore, the odds of one of us being a victim are greater in South America. I know that there are things that happen in Asia and other parts, but I have never been to any part of this planet where there is so much crime against people like us. I have never read any range of guidebooks where there are so many warnings against these type of criminal activities. I believe that we are a far greater target in South America (especially, it seems, Peru) than in most other parts of the world. This is mostly because we are seen to be "rich" and therefore, a legitimate target. Naturally, we do not have that particular situation in our own countries. Obviously, we can be victims in our own countries, but not because we have been targeted because we are "rich". It seems to be more random in our home countries.
Also, let's not forget that there are probably dozens of robberies every day against folks like us that are not being publicized.
I find myself being a lot more wary about chatting with locals. To me, an important part of traveling is to meet local people and interact with them in a positive way. I am finding myself shutting myself off from meeting people as I doubt that I'll trust any of them. This is all rather unfortunate. PETER COMMENTS STOPSMY COMMENT
Being an easy target, this is why you get robbed.
It is obvious you have a camera, gold ring, airplane baggage tags, dressed too nice, rented a car, just lay your stuff around anywhere.
Note though, I have only been robbed in Madrid Spain of my passport and coming off the island of Koh Samui, Thailand of 50 plus dollars. Sophisticated robbers have got me, not the average, I am trying to figure out and working diligently to make a backpack that would protect people. Especially the older people, I am going to try again here in Peru or Bolivia to make another bag as the snap, buttons, zippers are low quality in Nepal.
Both time though I made a strategic errors in my beliefs on how a person could rob me or how I should protect my valuables. I still lose more than I am robbed, but my guess is one in five travelers is robbed of over 200 dollars of valuable or more.
Why do you not hear about tourist being robbed in Europe?
People will not admit they have been robbed, similar to the stock market, do you ever hear a person say,
"I lost 10 grand on the stock market."
The no lose face syndrome
People hide their humanity, now that is the ultimate stupidity.