The pros, cons, reasons, and explanations on why I got robbed in the Dominican Republic on March 21, 2012 in Luperon, a Hurricane Hole for Sailboats.
Why I was robbed?
1. I lived in a room and the owner and landlord lived in a different building. The thieves and attackers could attack, there was nobody to cause him long term problems.
2. People that drank alcohol excessively lived as my neighbors.
3. I lived alone.
4. I left the door unlocked, the door was open. I had a free WIFI signal coming in from the door, that is why it was open.
5. I was in a location where excessively drunk people sat, and could look at my room.
6. I had something to rob.
7. There were no easy tourists around to rob.
I have lived in 90 countries, and theft and violence is about specific neighborhoods and the culture of the local people. This has nothing to do with being poor, more about jealousy and greed.
I knew the Dominican Republic is one of the most dangerous countries to visit on the planet. This is my third time here, and all my Gringo friends are angry at me when I say,
"I have never been in a more dangerous city than Sosua."
"I have never been in a more dangerous country than the DR."
I witnessed a knife fight in the streets of Luperon, within the first 30 minutes of entering the city. I took this photo and made this video below.
Why do I say that the DR is dangerous?
1. I see more guns than any other place.
2. I hear real stories of Gringos being killed, this is the only country on the planet where I hear stories of Gringos being killed. Many stories, not just one, in Sosua there are many Gringos killed. Yesterday, when I arrived in Montellano, Sandra told me a Gringo was shot in the arm in this city, he was driving a car.
3. Locks on doors, the size and number of them is four times normal.
4. Gang culture copied from the USA music, the DR boys copy the ghetto culture, the clothing, the behavior of the rap music.
5. Brugal Rum is cheap, alcohol is everywhere.
6. 50 percent of the girls in the country are working, selling their bodies to earn money, morally corrupt culture.
Why am I here?
This is one of the few places, where I can take a break from working on my computer and go talk with people from the USA in English. I do not need to talk with naive tourist, hippie dippie conspiracy theory idiots, just men who want buy women, sort of normal.
I came here to wait for winter to end, and to work on finishing my first book.
Money is always an issue:
The cost of a room, the cost of 24/7 Internet is one of the cheapest on the planet, I get more for my 500 USD per month than any other place on the planet.
Generally, the DR people are worst, the Gringos are the best for talking, and the beach in Sosua is one of the best on the planet.
But, I would never bring a wife, family, or children to this house of ill repute.
What will I never do again...
Rent a room without the owner living in the same building.
Ignore the number of deadbolt locks on the inside of the room, the number of them should have helped me to know the room was in danger of being forcibly opened.
I plan to be robbed.
I am only trying to minimize getting robbed or killed. I volunteer to go to places, associated with bad people, and to travel in countries that have numerous problems.
Where do I want to be now?
If I had the money, I would be flying to Nigeria, then by land to Cameroon, Gabon and all the way to South Africa by land. That is what I want to do, but to save money, make money, advertise my book, I am going to make a USA Road Trip for from April 2012 for at least three to four months.
I am thinking about my friend Steve who has owns a boat in Luperon. Because he owns the boat, he is trapped, he cannot just move to another city. People that buy homes abroad are always trapped, they are held hostage by what they buy.
I never have to make the best of a bad situation, I can move away, because I refuse to buy a house, or own a car, and I am free.
Thanks Andy, You can never repeat the liabilities of owning property enough, or even just having piles of crap in a miniwarehouse .. we are trapped by our property. I am currently trapped by piles of crap. Hopefully in a year I will be rid of most of it. When you get old you may need to own a small house.. or I suppose live off shore in an affordable rental with a house keeper. I am 71, I am looking at the options. I dont know if I can stay for life on a retirement visa or not when I get to old to move around.
I understand why Steve the boat guy is trapped... at least to one area of the world within easy sailing distance... The boat upkeep is also expensive, thats an economic trap. Travel to and from the harbor is also expensive.
Good work on staying alive. You can spice the book up with those kinds of stories, that should sell well on the road trip to the US and interviews.
I found it interesting that US tourists are generally safe in most other areas of the world. My dentist in Tijuanna by the way, great reputation, but the crowns he put on have nickel in them, I have to get them all replaced now. He didnt understand when I said all plastic, all porcelin, and also used amalgum. He didnt understand the issue of no metal other than gold, or the toxic issues with mercury or nickel. Live and learn I guess, I will now have to spend $4k or so getting them replaced all porceline.
Hello gain Andy, can you comment about retirement visa's in ones final days? Are they good for life? or do you have to leave periodically to renew them.. what do you think of Northern Tailand. Chang Mau i think its called.
Phil, I have a friend who is from that area in Thailand. He loves it. Lives in the US because he is trapped by a restaurant he owns. Would like to sell and move back to Thailand, but can't because of the economy. He says Thailand has freedom...just to give you an example: on Feb 29 he went to the local retail tax collection office to pay his sales tax for the month. They told him he had to pay a fine because he was late...apparently they don't recognize leap year in their system. That is what you get in America. Reason is completely out the window here. Lena
Thanks Lena! We are in deep trouble here in the US.
however with a move offshore, the IRS might send killer drones after anyone who they think made any money while off shore... they are making them smaller now.
I understand they have a tiny robot roach, that fires deadly darts...
You could be eating your bowl of noodles when one of those takes you out.
Dont ask how they load it :)
I got an insane notice from the california tax people 10 years ago... it said 'you are a contractor, we know that because you have a contractors license (duhh) your tax filing showed less income than the average of all contractors... therefore you need to refile and pay the proper tax, or you can send us $850 to settle'
One is left completely aghast. none of this fraud and insanity is sustainable.
Phil, It's called Socialism and intimidation at the muzzle of a gun. I too am planning to move offshore when I retire, but can't do so economically yet. Not retirement age yet.
Hello again Lena, I have on line consulting income, it should last.. I,m going to add an ebay store as well.
.... but if I become unable to operate it mentally, I will be on social security, which *currently meets minimum retirement visa income.
However as the US dollar becomes worth less. The foreign country may then demand proof of income that exceeds social security or any other fixed income denominated in dollars.
It may become tricky business.
Hi again Phil, I am looking at South Ecuador. The best climate of the Americas, no rain season. Live comfortably on $700 to $1000/mo or less. Ecuador has some of the most reasonable visa requirments. I think once they issue you resident status, they may not be able to revoke it but I'm not completely sure of that. I don't think I would buy property though, just in case. Better off renting so you can move and not get trapped.
Visas are easy, I am not sure why people think about Visas so much, if there is one thing for sure, the world wants Americans to come, spend money, and live. They do everything in their power to make it work. However, if you want to buy real estate, or work, then you are going to have visa problem. My advice, do not worry about visa until you know you like the country, which normally takes two years. I suppose, if you are becoming incapable of walking, or mentally slow, then maybe the visa is a more important issue. I will say, at 1500 meters above sea level, it is paradise. I believe Vilcabamba, Ecuador is at this level, Medellin, Boquete, Lago Atitlan.
Thanks Andy, I appreciate your very valuable insights. My choice is to retire here in the US, on a shoe string, living in low over head place...but with the 'security' of medicare etc.
Or to move to a paradise, live well to the end.. without medicare and with affordable house heeping. So far Id bet that my medicare co-pays will exceed what I can buy the type of medical care i want in most other nations... I'm not going to fight it when the end is near and go out on a ventilator. I will shake hands with the reaper when the time comes and thank him and the powers that be for a great ride.
I was basically worried about getting booted out early.. then having to re-establish in the US from scratch when I'm 90.
Yes, that would be a horrible problem. If you entered a country, lived for a few years, then was forced to leave at say age 80, the transition back to the USA would almost not be possible. I am quite sure welfare and others would care for a person, but this is not the plan.
I will say this, it is rare, extremely rare to need to prove you have a Visa. I know people who live in Guatemala for 10-20 years without a visa. Generally, there is no Visa police, it is about the same as the USA, you can live illegal forever providing you have money.
Thanks Andy, your new retirement page should prove to be very popular.. you are in a good position to do a book or at least a mini book about it. the timing is perfect, as 40 million boomers retire in the US over the next few years, most with very little money to live on
... and with social security devaluing fast.. thats sufficient money to get by on though in many of the places you write about. I think the expats are going to have plenty of company.
I could leave now if Id just let go of about $15,000 worth of semi salable tools and other things. Its just that my brain is formatted to keep that stuff for back up..
when a person is younger and can do the work, and the economy is good... backup is a good idea... as one ages the strategy fails entirely...
I've been putting off the move... thats a mistake if it goes on much longer.
I can set up my additional online business from offshore, no need to be in the US to do that.
Ive known people who married offshore, not such a bad move if one chooses carefully and is lucky.. the other person can use the money and the old fart can use the care.
for guys like me that don't mind roughing it, as long a small air conditioner can be found, it could be a very workable long term plan.
Keep up the good work Andy, its much appreciated.
I plan to retire within two hour driving time of mexicn border for medical and dental service. I think it will still be cheaper than Obomacare.I like the USA and all my connections are here.Traveling on a shoestring budget would be a little to adventureous for me, Ill' watch your adventure's from my lounge chair in safty."All the Best Andy".
Andy, Im sure this will be edited, but itll be posted in lots of other places. Your assessment that 50 of the DR women are selling their bodies needs revision. You could face a lot of trouble in the island, from local tourism authorities and institutions, for lying like that about the morals of a nation. Its true that some poor areas face such problems, but not 50 or anything as such. I am Dominican from a decent family and I know the country well, in numbers and statistics. If you really like the country you better be careful because local institutions might get you into legal trouble if this makes it into the news, specially with upcoming elections. Care to edit before the lion rears its ugly head?
Correction: I meant 50....
please add the percentage sign to the 50...this post cant seem to take it!
Yes, youre right. But if you say 50 of the women of a country are hookers, it better be true because you will be asked for proof, or face legal consequences. Democracy and the right to speak must be exercised with respect.
By the way, the number you need for a solid assessment could be 1.8 percent of the total 8 million population of the DR. Now you know what I mean when I say local groups and government will not like that kind of false reports and you could be labeled as persona non grata forever, with legal reasons. Respect and thou shall be respected.
This is what I call a "Semi-Pro" culture, and for sure 5 percent of the USA women trade favors for indirect money. I stand by my percentage, and truly do not care if I ever return to the DR, and all you Expats trying to hide the dirty laundry of this country are keeping it backward. You are not doing the country a favor by hiding reality.
Last week in Sosua, the Monkey Bar got robbed, and person died. They locals also as I understand, shot a man with cell phonene, then the Monkey Bar owner shot one robber, now they want him to pay 30k to the jerk who died. (I did not read this, but is in the Adsense newsletter, to check the details, I do not get it yet.
Last week my friend Ana got robbed at here office.
Last week in Montellano, a person reached into a car, pulled off a necklace and shot an Expat in the arm.
What you expats are trying to ridiculousdiculous, and juvenile, then you threatenthreaton me, a person who wants the place to evolve and come clean, the country is 30 years behind the rest of the planet on corruption.
But then again, the men who come to the DR are not of good moral values, they are the bottom of the barrel too.
When, In Search of Chicas is the number one source of information you got to think...
Amazing, this is an adult only island, it is not for families.
50 percent of the girls in the country are working, selling their bodies to earn money, morally corrupt culture.