How to Get Robbed – A Crash Course

Get Robbed

How to Get Robbed – 101

Figuring out how to get robbed is potentially one of the most important lessons that any traveler can learn. After all, even the most seasoned of us have, at one point or another, grown attached to material possessions that do little but weigh down our bags.

Sure, your camera may provide nice pictures and videos… but get robbed… and stop living behind a lens.

Sure, your passport may be useful to get you out of a country… but get robbed… and learn to live in this new culture instead of just passing through it.

Sure, your money may buy you some things… but get robbed… and learn how to relate to all those people that you’ve never taken time to acknowledge asking for change on the side of the street.

Sure, you like your backpack… but get robbed… and you’ll never have to struggle to shove it in the overhead compartment, or worry about carry-in charges again.

Sure, your clothes seem important… but get robbed… and realize just how beautiful the naked body can be.

Obviously there’s many great reasons to get robbed, and don’t forget what a great story it makes for all your friends who thought you were crazy for going traveling in the first place. So let’s look at the crucial steps in order to make sure you can become the unwilling victim of a traveler horror story that is clearly no fault of your own.

Get Robbed

Gotta learn to stick out… enough of this blending in!

Step 1 – Be Conspicuous

One of the most important rules of getting robbed is to make sure that you stick out. You may think that by merely being in a country where no one shares your skin colour or language is enough, but it’s not. If you really want to get robbed, make damn sure that people notice you. Dress in designer labels. Stay clean shaven. Keep your makeup on. Just because you’re travelling doesn’t mean that you won’t be suddenly discovered as the new upcoming model or Hollywood star!

Step 2 – Be Loud

Okay, this falls into being conspicuous, but it takes a whole new angle. You want to make sure to include any potential thieves that may be blind. So be sure to speak loudly and ignorantly. Using the words ‘No one here speaks English’ is a good start, but make sure to throw in a couple of racial slurs about the country where you’re visiting… now you’re developing the proper swagger!

Get Robbed

No matter what you’re looking for… if you try hard enough, you’ll manage to get lost

Step 3 – Get Lost

Many travelers get lost… but don’t forget that you want to be conspicuous about it. Make sure that everyone around you knows damn well that you’re lost! Now you would think that asking for directions is the best way to do this, but it’s actually not… for you might be charming and make friends when you ask for directions and thus have someone looking out for you. What you want to do, is take out a map and unfold it completely. Those people that barely unfold a map only get noticed by 80% of the folk out there… if possible, walk down the street whilst holding the fully unfolded map in front of you and don’t look where you’re going. Bumping into people without apologizing and loudly disapproving of ‘this stupid city and it’s people’ will definitely help you on your way.

Step 4 – Keep Your Valuables Handy

There’s nothing quite like having a huge SLR camera around your neck or large video camera (okay, that’s a little dated) to make thieves pay attention to you as you walk down the street with your head in a map, yelling racial slurs and bumping into passersby. If you don’t have an SLR handy, then maybe take a large IPad out in order to look for directions on that thing as well. Be sure to take pictures with your IPad. If you happen to have any small valuables, like a digital camera or IPhone, then take them out for pictures but make sure to leave them in your loose pockets so that they can be easily accessed in case a Monkey goes by riding a Camel whilst chasing an Elephant in a Gorilla parade… missing that moment would suuuhuuuuck!

Get Robbed

Develop that swagger!

Step 5 – Take a Load Off

You don’t need to always keep your valuables close. You might be uncomfortable if you have your bag on your lap on the overnight bus, so put it in the storage compartment above your head. If there’s no room there, you might be forced to put it at your feet, be sure to not wrap your foot through the armband or lock the bag. Putting a lock on your bag only shows thieves that it’s worth taking, and wrapping your foot through the armband merely proves that you are going to fall asleep. Just shove it far underneath the seat, and drift away to neverland where Peter Pan can sprinkle you with a little pixie dust.

Step 6 – Dark Alleys are Your Friend

There’s many great places to get lost when you’re on the road. Try to find the one where you would hang out if you were not wanting to be spotted by the authorities. If there’s enough room to be walking down the dark alleys with your map than do that, but once it gets a little too dark to read the map, take out your Ipad and hold it up in front of your face to get properly oriented. Be sure to have your SLR around your neck at all times in case that Monkey/Camel/Elephant/Gorilla combo comes trotting past.

Get Robbed

Ahh… culture! (sorry Lommer)

Step 7 – Get Wasted

What’s a true cultural experience if you’re not getting a little hammered on the local moonshine, or stoned on the hashish or hanging out in the Opium den. Be sure to bring your camera and passport with you, as they aren’t safe in the hotel.

Step 8 – Drink/Take Whatever/Wherever

You’re on the road to experience everything possible, no? So, why are you not accepting that sketchy drink from the shady guy in the corner? If no one is offering you drinks, then leave your drink in plain sight so someone might have the opportunity to spice it up a little bit…. they don’t call it spiced rum for nothing!

Step 9 – Carry Your Bags

Obviously, most travelers will be forced to carry their bags at some point or another… so you need to go beyond this. Try to make sure to carry your large bags frequently. If you can somehow manage to have all of your bags with you whilst successfully accomplishing the afore mentioned 8 steps, then odds are pretty good that you’re about to have a fantastic story to tell regarding these jackass locals that have no desire whatsoever to work for a living, and are happy just to steal and pickpocket the innocent tourists… If you’re friends happen to tell you that those scoundrels might’ve needed such possessions more than you, or even that it would take them 1 year to earn the amount that they received from selling a few of your possessions, stick to the personal property argument and stealing is bad carte blanche… you can’t lose that argument!

Get Robbed

Wrong, wrong, wrong!!! Way to hard to get robbed up here!

Above All

Make damn sure that the locals never feel that they are your equal. If you start to relate too well to them, either by trying to learn their language to show that you respect their culture, or genuinely taking an interest in their lives by asking about their country and traditions, all may be lost. Don’t befriend your neighbour on the bus! Don’t learn to say thank you in the local language (and certainly not ‘how are you’) and don’t let them ever feel that you are anything less than a culture vulture.

Recently, some monkey provided me the opportunity to learn a great lesson in detachment by stealing my camera… and thus helped me reflect on all these great tips to share with you regarding how you too can get a great lesson in detachment by learning how to get robbed.

31 thoughts on “How to Get Robbed – A Crash Course

  1. girjaa

    Oh my goodness, Stef you cut me up, and totally, joyfully break up my day of writing….’in case a Monkey goes by Riding a Camel whilst chasing an Elephant in a Gorilla parade’… so funny. and how you refer back to it. So happy to be reading your blogs again… I have been missing them a lot. Stick with this blog path, JJ, more will catch on, and get as addicted as I.
    Love the feature picture…and the picture of you and Julian, and its caption!!

    Reply
    • Jonny Jenkins Post author

      Thanks a lot. It’s so great to get the feedback, and glad to know when attempted humour actually makes it out of the black and white screen to connect with people. Your encouragement is much appreciated, and glad that I could serve to break up the monotony of another writing day… :)

      Reply
    • Jonny Jenkins Post author

      Desert Rose… Great plant, lovely pen name!
      It’s so great to hear from you. Thank you very much for the encouragement… I’m probably my toughest critic and am sure that my writing will only continue to improve.
      Glad to provide some entertainment, and thanks for the kind words!

      Reply
  2. The hiker

    Hi JJ I feel like I am writing to myself. So good to read your travel experiences. I enjoy your wry humour and your perceptions. I enjoy reading about those far away places with strange sounding names. I am looking forward to your next posting. Ciao for now!

    Reply
    • Jonny Jenkins Post author

      Great to hear from you… I must admit that I didn’t figure out right away what you were talking about with the ‘feel like I am writing to myself’… but I’m on it now JJ! Get your other son to write in, he’ll feel even MORE like he’s writing to himself.

      Glad that you’re enjoying the ride… Can’t help but thinking of you currently hanging out in Kathmandu… that’s really really where I’m going to… If I ever get out of here… I’m going to Kathmandu… :)

      Reply
  3. The Guy

    Love it! This is great advice. I always believe in trying to travel light so if someone can take some weight off my hands it is appreciated. Who needs material stuff anyway? :-)

    I love your approach and take on this topic.

    Reply
    • Jonny Jenkins Post author

      Hey, so great to hear from you. I like the site you have going over at flights and frustrations.

      Totally agree with you, nothing like having some good chap come by to help you unload some weight and take a load of fanny so to speak… There’s some amazingly philanthropic folk out there. Always provides a great lesson in detachment and a little perspective :)

      Reply
  4. Abu

    Haha good one Stef!! True words! The best way to get robbed is to walk passed a wild Carnival with your camera and wallet in a backpack without a log. Have them spray the foem thingy on your face and take liberty of your bag. :D

    Reply
    • Jonny Jenkins Post author

      Abu, Abu!

      Glad you like it, and you’re going to have to explain to me the story that goes along with your little walk through Carnival sometime :) We’ll find each other again someday… some crazy surfer town, on one of these continents, we’ll rock up there around the same time, I just know it ;)

      Reply
  5. Pingback: Stolen Camera - A Lesson in Detachment

  6. Burton Haynes

    I just want to tell you that I’m very new to blogs and absolutely enjoyed this web page. Most likely I’m want to bookmark your blog post . You really come with remarkable writings. Regards for revealing your web page.

    Reply
    • Jonny Jenkins Post author

      I just want to tell you that I’m very new to receiving a ton of spam and absolutely enjoyed receiving (all today) 47 of the same message, but am wondering why you couldn’t make it an even 50? Most likely I’m want to report your site and really don’t care if I can grow hair faster and longer… You really come with remarkably unimaginative writings. Regards for revealing your ‘fake comment’ spam scam :P

      Reply
  7. Erin

    Crap! I missed how to grow my hair faster & longer? Denied an important public service! Alas, I will forever more have slow, stubby hair. *lip quivers*

    On the plus side: This post kicks butt! I!! love how you tipped it on it’s ear and made it…well, hilarious! Smart cookie AND providing excellent tips to us all. Had to Tweet it out!

    Now, how do I get that long flowing mane of hair?

    Reply
    • Jonny Jenkins Post author

      Hey Erin,
      So glad you could drop by from your caffeinated day tripping.
      You’re the first one that’s commented on me attempting to find the humour in spam… hahaha, I was wondering who it’d be :)

      Glad to hear that you liked the post, and thanks a lot for the tweet.

      Regarding the horse mane, the next time those chemicals peddlers find me worthy enough to bombard with their bleitzkrieg (probably spelled that wrong), I’ll be sure to point them in your direction. ^^

      Reply
  8. Samantha @mytanfeet

    I need to print this out and hand one to every American tourist that comes to Costa Rica haha. This is excellent! And very true – for some reason people think it’s ok to flash all their money and then walk down a dark alley by themselves. Hmm…

    Reply
    • Jonny Jenkins Post author

      They absolutely do. And naturally, when someone steals something from them that’s worth the equivalent of a year’s working salary, they blame those damn thieves!

      Reply
    • Jonny Jenkins Post author

      This post is, quite literally, random misinformation! Please, for me, if you are going to try to make a living in marketing strategy… please go back to school. The only thing that comes across by you spamming me with this is that you can’t think of a better marketing strategy than spamming bloggers. From what I can tell you’ve screwed up on at least 3 of the 4 p’s in your marketing mix. School friend… Education… Learning… You know you need it.

      Reply
  9. Aston Martin

    I’m also commenting to let you know of the helpful encounter my cousin’s daughter found browsing your webblog. She picked up plenty of issues, including how it is like to possess an ideal teaching mindset to get the rest easily know just exactly specific impossible subject areas. You undoubtedly surpassed our own desires. Many thanks for giving those interesting, trusted, edifying and also unique tips on your topic to Tanya.

    Reply
    • Jonny Jenkins Post author

      How does this work?? Do you just pick words at random and then try to make sentences out of it? I tend to tell people who speak English as a second language that Twain, Dickens and Joyce are difficult to read as their English is a little out of date… what’s my excuse for you?

      Reply
  10. Healthy Teeth

    Hello, you used to write wonderful, but the last several posts have been kinda boring¡K I miss your tremendous writings. Past several posts are just a little out of track! come on!

    Reply
    • Jonny Jenkins Post author

      Aaah… Well I’m glad you pointed this out… You see what happened is this: I’ve discovered that you were spending too much time in front of the computer and thus could not continue on your very noble cause of spamming people in order to encourage them to keep their teeth healthy. What could I do when faced with such unsettling information but to start writing in an incredibly boring manner to lose you as a reader. …now if you would be so kind as to get back to your honourable mission, I think I will go brush my teeth and re-contemplate the meaning of my life… Jerk! GrrrRRrr

      Reply
  11. Michele

    I see people doing the things you talk about often , we just try and blend in although it is challenging to elarn languages sometime thank you, please and a smile go a long way.

    Reply
    • Jonny Jenkins Post author

      Absolutely Michele, sometimes learning the local language is not as feasible as we would like it to be, but having a few key words can make all the difference in the world.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>