The international bastard syndrome.

Trip Start Oct 06, 2004
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Brazil  ,
Thursday, November 10, 2005

There's bastards everywhere. Yesterday I spoke to a guy from New Zealand, on a three months trip around Brazil. He said he's going back home in a couple of weeks, but first he had to sort out some money. A couple of days ago, he had gone for food and drinks with a guy from the dormitory he was staying in. The guy claimed to be from Estonia, and while having a nice lunch and a good few drinks together, the Estonian asked the guy from New Zealand to wait for him as he had to make a phone call home. The Kiwi waited and waited and waited in the restaurant, but the Estonian never returned. So the Kiwi ended up paying the bill before going back to his hostel. And what did he find? Well, pretty much nothing. The so-called Estonian had checked out of the hostel and at the same time stolen the Kiwi's money, credit cards, camera, iPod and nicest clothes. Basically he left him the passport and some dirty underwear. When the Kiwi checked the registration book in the hostel, the guy had checked in claiming to be Norwegian and not Estonian. Who knows where he was from, the only thing that's certain is that he is a major bastard. Unfortunately you find them everywhere. It's not the first time I have heard similar stories from people staying in dormitories, although I am sure most backpackers out there are honest people.

And there's bastards down here as well. To be honest I am pretty tired of getting ripped off (me who never gets ripped off) just because I am a Gringo tourist. I know many are just trying to make a living, but why is it always almost the same story? Earlier today my brother and I went to the beach, and as soon as we got there we were surrounded by guys trying to drag us to their beach shack restaurant. We agreed to one of the places, as we wanted a couple of beers. Not being a rookie anymore, I did of course ask how much the beer was first (there was no menu). The answer was 4 Reais. So after three beers, I expected a bill of 12 Reais, or maybe a tiny bit more for the service or something. We got the bill, and it said 40 Reais. 12 for the beers, 8 for the service and 20 for the table and chairs (we are not talking sun chairs here, it was an ordinary beach restaurant). I got so angry and just told the guy to sod off (when we came to the beach, he appeared friendly and told us where not to go on the beach etc. because of thieves, but I guess he was the biggest of them all). Of course I didn't pay him 40, but still I was stupid enough to give him 25 (I never learn do I?). I must say you get suspicious after a few months on the road, as in my opinion most people who tries to sell you something or talk to you on the street are just after one thing. To get some money off you without delivering. It gets bloody annoying after a while, kind of unfortunate for the honest guys out there, as you get so tired of all the hassle, and hence tell all of them to bugger off. It's all part of traveling, but I could easily have done without it. Luckily all places are not the same. It's much more common in touristy areas of course, as tourists with money attracts all sorts of characters. I'm sure most people out there are honest, but have to add that I notice a difference between the countries down here. In my opinion the most hassle free countries are Argentina, Chile, Colombia (except Cartagena), Paraguay and Uruguay. I could easily list hundred more rip-off examples, but lets hope today was the last one. Yeah right!

Except for that, I really enjoy Salvador. We stay in the old historic Pelourinho neighborhood (another UNESCO World Heritage site) with all it's churches, colorful houses and cobble-stoned streets. We enjoy good local Bahia food (try a seafood moqueca with cashew nuts the next time you go), a good nightlife and busy beaches. Time to move further south...
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Comments

lraleigh
lraleigh on

You should have taken the table and chairs
After all, you paid for them. Happy trails.

Salvador Guy on

Dude, first of all, a Beer here is 2,50 or 3 Reais. You got ripped off, lol, and pay chairs and tables? damn

GuideBrasil on

Check this out www.guidebrasil.com/english.html

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