Almost mugged (twice) in Curitiba

22/03/2016

Trouble Sleeping

So, I have trouble sleeping anyway, and after yesterday’s “excitement” I am still up at 1:00, despite trying to go to bed at 22:00. Therefore, as I haven’t written a blog post for ages, I thought, what better way to purge and hopefully relax my mind, than to do just that.

Short Stop Over

After a month in São Paulo, I am currently on my way to Florianópolis for a week (before going back to the UK). I decided to do this trip by bus instead of plane because I think that: 1. flying can sometimes make the world seem small (as trips are so short), and 2. you get to see new interesting places along the way.

Close Call One

When I arrived in Curitiba, with all my possessions in one large backpack, I looked on the internet for a hotel and found a nice looking one (with a pool on the roof apparently) a few blocks from the coach station. After almost 3 months of not getting mugged in São Paulo and Rio, I felt a bit like an over-confident superhero and, as it was still light, thought I should walk because it was so close.

As I began to make my way through a small park towards the hotel, I saw a group of 6 shady looking men sat on a bench, and after one nodded in my direction to his friend, I decided it would probably be better if I got a taxi.

Close Call Two

So the pool-topped hotel was full, therefore I had to look for a different place to stay in the same area. It was getting dark now, so I thought that I should be a bit more careful and not go too far, probably just check on the same block, it was on a main road near a shopping mall (at 7pm) so I thought it would be pretty safe.

As I walked, two teenagers approached me, one aggressively asking for the time and pointing at his watch. I said I didn’t know and carried on walking. At this point, the other started walking on my other side so I was trapped between them. The first guy continued asking for the time and pointing at my phone in my pocket. I continued walking and said again that I didn’t know and that I don’t speak Portuguese (in Portuguese).

Thankfully, as I approached a busier area, they both ran off – both were pretty scrawny and were probably scared off by my giant muscles (joking, but mine were bigger than theirs); But I could have easily been approached in the same way by two men twice my size, or by someone carrying a weapon.

Lesson Learnt

You really do have to be careful, as people said to me: “Especially if you look like a target”, which I definitely did with my huge ‘obviously-a-tourist’ backpack. I’d recommend to anyone travelling in a potentially unsafe place, get a taxi, even if it is only for a few blocks to a different hotel.

And don’t be this guy

tourist