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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Dar Papaya- It happened again.

Well it happened again. I got robbed. This is unfortunately becoming a bad pattern for me. I still love this country and it isn't all bad but the reality is that Gringos are frequently targeted. A few months back I had my wallet stolen. Now I have had my bad (with my laptop and all my work documents in it) stolen. I was out having a few beers with some friends from work and since there was so many people around our table I naively assumed that it wouldn't be stolen when I got up to go to the bathroom. Well I was wrong. It was stolen (and replaced with another empty bag) without anyone seeing anything. The thieves here are really good, you have to give them that.

The only good news is that I still have my money,ID,phone etc. and I wasn't harmed at all. Now that I have been robbed twice here in Colombia I have really learned my lesson. You just can't leave anything laying around. There is a huge gap between people who have money and people who don't. So people here generally steal to survive because there is no government services to help them out if they are out of a job or have very little money. It is quite sad but it is the reality of living in an "emerging economy".

There is a saying here in Colombia, it doesn't translate into English very well but it is Dar Papaya. Dar is the verb to "give" in Spanish and obviously Papaya is a fruit. If you give Papaya it means you do something that gives a thief or thieves a chance to rob you. By getting up and leaving my bag I gave papaya. I don't really like this saying because it gives the thieves an excuse for their behavior and shifts the blame to the victims but everyone who lives here knows this saying.

I still like living here and it is not a bad country even though I have been robbed twice now. I am going home in about two weeks so I will have to buy a replacement computer but luckily most of my stuff was backed up. I will be extra careful with everything from now on. I will still recommend that anyone visit Colombia but just be extra careful with your things and don't go around flashing expensive stuff. It isn't the fault of the country it is the income divide and I guess partly cultural. But, that being said, you can be robbed anywhere at anytime so this is not unique to Colombia.

See you soon Texas,Tyler

1 comment:

  1. You're certainly learning the hard way... Maybe you should get a bag that says "dirty laundry" or something? :-) at least you still have your wallet etc. And a back-up of most of your documents.