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Old 02-03-2019, 09:56 AM
Location: equator
3,809 posts, read 1,669,547 times
Reputation: 9555


^^^Well, I don't know about all that, but we are in Ecuador, not Africa. I imagine Africa would be a whole different story. That said, we don't take camera gear or phones onto the beach, nor leave backpacks laying around if we go in the water. Too many people are poor. I don't wear jewelry anyway, but the point is, not to be flashy with your money.

I grocery shop in the air-conditioned mall, not the outdoor market so I don't have the chance to get scammed by different pricing. I know the taxi drivers charge us a bit more, but we are resigned to that. So what. I don't buy any trinkets or crafts, so that pricing doesn't bother me.

We have no beggars or homeless though, not like the U.S. I keep hold of my cross-the-body purse and keep my wits about me, which is smart in any situation. Very few panhandlers, either. We just ignore them.

Our maid doesn't overcharge us. $3 an hour is fine. No one is "demanding" any money. But we are humble and low-key and dress simply.

My worst experience was sitting in an outdoor café and being approached by a native Quechua woman in her elaborate garb, selling cherries. I gave in and gave her a dollar, thinking I'd get more than I could carry. She demanded $3 and foolishly, I gave it to her. I got like 10 cherries! LOL. Never again. But if that's the worst...
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Old 02-03-2019, 10:46 AM
Location: NYC
3,065 posts, read 1,662,353 times
Reputation: 8309
It may well depend upon the specific culture. I've traveled a great deal in my life for pleasure & work & the 2 places that stand out to me for being really hassled are India, specifically walking around Delhi trying to absorb the sights by myself & being hounded at every step by beggars & panhandlers until I decided to just leave the country & go to northern Thailand instead for my holiday. This was about 20 years ago & I have never had the interest to return even though I had planned to travel Rajasthan originally.

The only other place that was as aggressively obnoxious was Kuta Bali. (This was about 20+ years ago as well, don't know what has happened since after the book/movie Eat Pray Love was released.) I spent most of my time in & around Ubud which was wonderful back then, really great. Then I decided to take a day or 2 down to the Kuta area, which is the Aussie budget tourist package beach holiday destination apparently. The street touts were all over & mobile, not at stalls or stands. I still remember one in particular who after following me down the street & being told repeatedly I'm not interested in his "jewelry" would wait for me if I went into store for 10 minutes & then continue harassing me down the street. It was very aggressive & borderline hostile. I hope that they have tamped down this verbal stalking in the years since. (Most of the hawkers were from Java, not Balinese back then, & thinking about that one guy I wonder now if he wasn't an early meth addict.)

I haven't experienced this level of harassment anywhere else, I don't mind curiosity or little kids that have been pressed into street hawking since they aren't really free agents or physically aggressive typically, the Euro pickpockets are the exception not the rule. Also the harassing will typically center on prototypical naive tourist gathering areas, like Kuta or where the cruise ship docks, so avoiding these can help. Other than those 2 areas I haven't experienced anything that I thought was untoward, mostly in the 3rd world it is poorer people just trying to make a living from the strangers rich enough to travel abroad, fair enough.
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Old 02-03-2019, 11:41 AM
134 posts, read 48,420 times
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The two places I have been bothered by panhandlers were:

Beijing, China - they actually leaned into me to steer me, but I pushed back and kept walking. I have no idea what they were saying.

Gallup, NM.
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Old 02-03-2019, 11:46 AM
Location: Texas
10,497 posts, read 4,004,652 times
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Italy is like a third world country now. I'll never go back there. Filled with dirty streets and crime. Street vendors who aggressively hawk cheap merchandise and pickpockets everywhere.

Won't come back to read the replies.
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Old 02-03-2019, 12:11 PM
Location: Central IL
15,376 posts, read 8,779,576 times
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Originally Posted by BOBNCHI View Post
Beggars, panhandlers and children, of course it happens. Some of the best are right here in the USA!
True enough - Michigan Ave., downtown Chicago, among others.
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Old 02-03-2019, 03:02 PM
3,746 posts, read 1,622,941 times
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Originally Posted by curious question View Post
I have traveled to most of the popular 1st world countries in Europe and Asia. They were nice but I want to expand my horizons and see the 3rd World. I want to see exotic and economically struggling countries where life is completely different than here in America.

My question is this: If I walk up and down the streets of third world countries will I be hassled, bothered or even attacked? Will people stare at me and make getting around difficult? Tell us your experiences traveling in third world countries.
You should try previewing in poor neighborhoods of North Chicago, Cincy, Cleveland, Detroit first. No offence to any people there and also you will be better off in your 1st world bubble travel than experimenting in 3rd world.
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Old 02-03-2019, 04:51 PM
Location: On the road
6,211 posts, read 3,031,708 times
Reputation: 11975
Originally Posted by Frihed89 View Post
There are lots of street urchins who need money to eat. They are generally polite and grateful. Help them.
Or just as likely they need money to sniff more glue, or to give to their boss who has a gang of 20 of them.
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Old 02-03-2019, 05:26 PM
14,373 posts, read 24,241,843 times
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Originally Posted by BOBNCHI View Post
Good grief, where do these ideas come from? We've never had any issues, respect is universally understood.
On my last trip to Mexicali, BC, I was surrounded by twenty chicoleras looking to sell me penny candies. It is not an uncommon occurrence and can be fairly intimidating to the unprepared. Most of the merchants and shop owners will chase them off.
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Old 02-03-2019, 06:03 PM
16,128 posts, read 13,863,868 times
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India was by far the worse of any place I been to. It was a constant being bothered by beggars, rickshaw drivers, kids, sales people, etc, never ended. Only escaping to the more wealthy areas of Mumbai and areas of Goa was there relief from it.

A close second was Egypt, but not so much beggars, but being with a woman, about every damn guy was doing their weird cat calling or whatever it was, constantly, it was annoying as hell. The men in that country have some real issues, only the Coptic areas were somewhat normal.
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Old 02-03-2019, 06:03 PM
Location: Cebu, Philippines
4,826 posts, read 1,869,415 times
Reputation: 8968
People who hassle tourists go to where the tourists are. So to avoid them, go somewhere else. In India, we went only to Sikkim, Siliguri, Guwahati, Kaziranga, Shillong, Agartala, we were completely ignored by everyone.

However, Bangladesh was as described above. Never hassled for money or business, but constantly followed or escorted by packs of boys age 5-25, never threatening, who just wanted an up close look at my wife.

Katmandu airport is a gaggle of tout chaos, I picked one, he said the taxi is free, if we don't like the hotel, he'd take us to another. We loved the very cheap homey hotel, gave the tout an extra tip. Similar story at Hanoi train station. Keep your head and use the touts to your advantage.
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