Travel

Thieves, Pick Pockets, and Self Defense: What You Haven’t Been Told

If you are facing a robber wielding a gun or a knife, give them what they want and get away. I personally fear the machete more than any other weapon as it is, world-wide, the number one murder weapon and it seems that anyone willing to use a machete in a crime belongs in a mental institution anyway. Most crooks are pretty dumb. If you give them the money out of one pocket and say that is all you have, they’ll be satisfied. Usually, they want to get away almost as much as you do. Given the opportunity, drop part of the cash as you are handing it over and run.

There is a lot of ball kicking advice out there. Forget it. In a tense fight situation a man thinks of protecting his balls first. He instinctively knows that is a vulnerable area. I bet you can’t kick most men in the groin if they suspect the slightest challenge. Unless, of course, you are a relative of Bruce Lee or Chuck Norris. The eyes are a much better target.

Should it come to using lethal force in self-defense, don’t be timid. Think kill, maim, and mutilate because you know, without a doubt that is what the bandit is going to do to you. I want to be clear on this one point. Just like in every modern country, you have to know you are defending your life or the life of another and that you face imminent death without action. The first question any authority will ask is, “Is there any possible way that you could have avoided a lethal confrontation?” The answer better be NO.

In the case of death or maiming in self-defense, you will always have the burden of proof. I have had my share of legal problems in foreign countries where I did not speak their language fluently and certainly didn’t understand their legal terminology. This sudden realization is an attention getter and an Oh Shi… moment. On top of this, you are a foreigner and locals are generally favored in any dispute. What’s more, if you are arrested, in some cases, you might as well have disappeared off the face of the earth. In one situation, no one knew where I was for weeks until the US Embassy tracked me down.

Unlike developed countries, you have to buy your food and drinks in third world prisons. The problem is that they empty your pockets before locking you up and you cannot contact anyone, like the locals can, to bring you food. What do you eat and drink? Tap water that usually causes dysentery and three peanut butter sandwiches a day unless another inmate or guard feels sorry for you and shares. The point is, make sure you are 100% in the right. Perry Mason will not come to a foreign country to liberate you; you will more likely get representation from Juan Valdez’s illiterate, dyslexic sister who, “No speaky English.”

How often are people attacked or robbed? Having traveled all over the third world in many developing nations, I have had more violent incidences and faced more thieves in the United States than any other country. Why? I was in my comfort zone and unaware of my surroundings. This, I never do in foreign countries. Outside of the United States, I have been robbed twice. Both of these incidences were orchestrated by children between 5 and 8 years old in the Philippines and Trinidad. My combined loss was about $35.00 US and a cheap watch. Some would argue that this is not worth murdering a child for. On a good day, I would agree. Smile and be safe.

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