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Published: March 16th 2014
I should point out that other than some major bruising to my nose and upper lip and in various parts of my body (arms and back side) I am FINE and have survived one of the most traumatic experiences of my life to date!!!
Well some days it is better not getting out of bed....today was obviously one of those.
In my attempt to move between hostels several blocks apart, I had my first taster of the regular con....which I quickly brushed off as a one off from which I got away with a story and no financial or physical loss.
The con goes like this - 3 people (1 woman and 2 guys all with day packs on their backs) tried to steel my backpack....their ploy was to throw some putrite brown liquid onto my backpáck and neck, in order for one of them to approach me in the pretense to assist me while the third person very kindly stole my belongings from my backpack. However having taken on board the advice from my departing hostel I was switched on and just walked away from them and started swearing (yes not very lady like but effective) loudly
while doing so. So I arrived at my new hostel and retold my tale and then got cleaned up before venturing out again.
The second attempt took place in a very public central avenue, I sat down on a bench and was trying to get my camera out to take some shots when one of the second group (2 women and 1 guy - they certainly like to mix it up!) through the liquid but this time I was instantly on my feet and walking away while screaming this time (yes profanities again...sorry), second time round still no financial or physical loss.
So in my wisdom I thought ok it has happened twice today in daylight and central locations, so I decided to continue using the back roads to reach my destination of La Boca which one of my previous dorm mates had recommended as a must see.
So LA BOCA turned out to be a GHETO HOOD and for me HELL ON EARTH for a brief moment in time (aprox 2pm in the afternoon). A woman stood in the intersection and co-ordinated the movements of the 4 men (3 guys and a teenager) who came at
me from all 3 directions. One kindly pointed a (fake looking) gun to my head while the other 3 tried to get my backpack off....now the way I was wearing the back on my front and tied at the waist it was impossible for them to get it off despite the pulling they eventually just opened it and took what they could i.e. camera / wallet / havianas / sunscreen / food stuff and the sunglasses from my face and hat from my head. Just before the guy punched I decided to start shouting which obviously prompted the punch with the blood pouring everywhere they just run away.
I then proceeded north to the street where I found a police man and via hand movements I tried to convey what happened then 3 police cars came to the scene, I was taken to the local police station, where a doctor came to see me and recommended I go for a nose x ray at the local hospital. Following the x ray and a brief chat with another doctor he gave me an anti-inflamatory injection and a note for the police report.
I was then again escorted to the
x ray of nose....there is no fracture
despite the white mark at the top...so much for me thinking I had a straight nose to start with hahaha
police station where an interpreter took my statement. So after about 4.5 hours I was finally escorted to my hostel....I had to put on the water works (not that difficult today!) first, since they were planning to give me a bus fare and leave me at the bus stop...so I just broke down since i was still in shock / tired / hungry / can't speak Spanish....thankfully they took pity on me and carried out their original instructions, safely escorting me to my hostel.
So after 4 police rides and spending an afternoon in a police station, I have total admiration for what these guys have to do on a daily basis...everyone was so nice despite not being to speak English. The police & doctors were all brilliant!
Luckily for me at the new hostel the staff were absolutely great and there was an Australian doctor staying who got me ice and gave me advise on looking after my still bleeding nose and some pills for the inflammation.
A massive big thank you to my Peruvian friend for keeping me entertained via Skype during the evening to take my mind off my ordeal - real star!
Glad to say I am feeling much brighter today and the swelling has gone done but still sporting the buffy upper lip (to think people pay lots of money for botox when all they need a punched nose for free or in my case AR$1600 plus a camera / sunglasses / havianans), all part of the traveling experience.
I have to say I am feeling very lucky and not deterred from seeing more of Buenos Aires it will just be in the form of organised events though, with some short trips to the safer river keys on my own.
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