Last spotted in San Francisco, USA on March 28, 2003, 1:23 pm
Who is he? Where is he going? Where has he been? David Barrett / Quinthar
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My favorite coffeeshop in San Diego is undoubtedly Cafe 976. It's set in one of the original houses of San Diego on a corner near downtown, filled with paintings and photographs by local artists, and surrounded by a luxurious garden. They have a great selection of tea, lots of pretty college girls to watch, and the faint sent of jasmine in the air.

Sitting at the table just to the left of the picture were two guys discussing surfing around the world. When one of the guys mentioned how he had recently been robbed in Peru, I had to join the conversation. I asked what exactly happend, with the goal of learning how to avoid a similar fate. He then recounted, in a surprisingly even tone, how he was on a four-hour bus-ride through the countryside at night (the absolute most dangerous thing to do, my guidebooks assure me). Suddenly, five guys stood up with pistols, hijacked the bus, and proceeded to rob everyone on the bus one at a time. He decided that it was pointless to resist, and freely handed over everything he had (after the most thorough pat-down for secret pockets in his life). They then stopped and left the bus, and the bus continued. Furthermore, even more upsetting than being robbed, was the hassle of trying to get back to "civilization" with no identification, no money, and being four hours away from the nearest city of merit. Oye.

Then, after this tale, his partner chimed in with how he had also been robbed while mulling about a major bus station in Brazil: a local friend of his was guarding his things as he went to make a phone call. While on the phone, someone walked up to him and started speaking in Portugese -- which he didn't speak -- in an agitated tone. His local friend came over to translate, leaving the baggage unguarded. At that point, a man came running by and grabbed his bags, despite the dozens of policeman wielding automatic rifles pacing around.

Ack. That's not what I want to hear.

Copyright 2017 - David Barrett -