Sunday, December 7, 2008

Costa Rica Crime- it's your FAULT

I might me overstating on the title, but not by much. Everybody seems to be talking about crime in Costa Rica and how bad it's getting. Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon- the Tico Times, AM Costa Rica, various bloggers and numerous Costa Rican websites, nothing but crime, crime, crime. Endless stories on how Henry and Martha, from Omaha had their vacation of a lifetime ruined by some 'good samaritans’' who noticed they had a flat tire while exiting the airport. Well, I'm OVER IT. Oh, by the way, the scary stuff- guns, knives, physical attacks- those are on the rise, but lets be honest, the majority of those are in and around the San Jose area. Please don't write me about a terrible crime that happened outside the San Jose area just to try and prove a point, those are merely exceptions that could happen anywhere, not the rule.

Does anyone deserve to get ripped off? I think not, but that's not the reality of it, is it? Shit does happen, but thankfully your chances of being a victim of a 'strong-arm' crime are very slim here. Yes, it happens, but HELLOO, that can happen anywhere and I do sympathize with those who have basically been in the wrong place at the wrong time- victims of senseless/random acts of violence. But since no one will say it out loud, I will- 90% of tourists who get ripped off here in one way or the other basically DO bring it on themselves. Crime (as it applies to tourists) here is usually one of opportunity and/or some sort of distraction technique used to separate your valuables from you. That said, if you're vigilant, aware of your surroundings and use basic common sense, you WILL not have a problem, and if you do, it will be less severe because you took certain precautions to minimize your losses. Example- You're confronted outside a bar in San Jose and they want your wallet, jewelry, passport- all the regular stuff. You don't have your wallet, you just brought enough cash to have a fun night, you're not wearing jewelry because you know better and your passport is back at the hotel. So, they get a few bucks and that's about it. Not a great experience, but it could have been MUCH worse.

I was reading a blog on another site and I think the email was written by Henry and Martha from Omaha. They did in fact lose everything, because they did pull over their car. Well, I got news- if Henry and Martha would have done just a little homework on the internet (don't people research potential travel destinations anymore, especially those outside of their home country?) they would have known about this little scam since even the most basic websites pertaining to Costa Rica travel mention it- AND they would have NEVER pulled over, even if the f***'in tires were coming off the rims. I know I wouldn't. Check out these travel tips concerning theft: HERE

I'm just asking people to take some responsibility for their life. Look at things you could have done differently, so you can affect change, instead of generalizing an entire country as a crime ridden trash bin full of thugs and degenerates, because you were irresponsible. A lot of people here make about $1.50 an hour (no excuse for stealing, just sayin) and you left your video camera unattended. Personally, I see that as YOUR fault and if you don't, then well, I guess that’s why you get ripped off and I don’t.