This is the penultimate blog post for this study placement, and it’s just a quick reminder to keep safe during the year abroad. I am living in São Paulo, Brazil and this murder rate in this country is higher than in the civil war in Syria. Pause for thought there.
There are necessary measures to take to keep safe when in such a dangerous place. I was in one of the safer cities this past weekend (Curitiba). A beautiful city that appears almost European from its architecture. However I entered a wooded park area dedicated to the late John Paul II and its memorial to the Polish immigrants of the city, and was spooked by a old man who stopped and stared at me every time I passed. In the end he began following me and I had to exit the park running to leave him behind.
I have also been robbed (for 50p) during Carnival in February and was almost robbed when I was blind drunk in Rio de Janeiro.
What can you do to avoid danger in these places?
- Don’t lose your common sense when you drink (like I did)
- Always stay on main roads and illuminated paths at night
- Don’t venture into places you don’t know
- Carry little money (inc bank cards)
- Or carry a second wallet with a little money
- Carry an old phone (if possible)
- Try not to walk around alone at night
- Use a bum bag to carry money, cards and phone inside legwear.
The reality in countries such as Brazil is that petty crimes such as mugging are often opportunistic which means they can easily be avoided by taking the steps above. In the case you are caught up in a mugging, usually the perpetrators are looking for drug money, which means the bait of a loose £5 note in one jeans pocket may be enough to take them away from the scent of the £30 you have in the other pocket.
I hope some of this information helps you to keep safe on your travels!
All the best, grande abraço!