Feature – Your BANGED UP ABROAD Stories

As you’ll probably know by now, every now and then we run a feature of your stories to share some of your experiences with other readers of this blog, and this time around we’re going to share a couple of Banged Up Abroad Stories. It’s never a good place to find yourself when you’re in trouble with the law anywhere, including home, but when you’re in a foreign land then things just seem to get confounded, don’t they?

Paying “beer money” in Southeast Asia

Okay, so the reader who sent this story in actually mentioned some specific information, including the exact country in which this happened. I’m pretty sure anyone who has visited Southeast Asia can perhaps guess which country it is, but we don’t want to incriminate anybody here, so we won’t go into the specifics of the details in that way. Anyway, it was what appears to be a very common case of being pulled over on a rented scooter or motorbike by a traffic officer and then having to pay “beer money” or “drinks money” in order to make the charge of biking without an international driving licence go away.

Lost passport predicament in Brazil

Spare a thought for the reader whose lost passport had them facing an immediate life of uncertainty and a period of flirting with some serious trouble with the law. The immigration officials nearly threw him in one of those notorious Brazilian jails because they thought he was an illegal immigrant, after they asked him for some ID and he realised at that very moment that his passport had somehow been lost somewhere. That must have been quite the ordeal, but I’m happy to report that it all worked out okay in the end.

Some trouble at the Australian border immigration office

One of our long-time followers who is a South African digital nomad suffering from chronic headaches wrote in to share his story of how he always packs a box of Grandpa Headache powders in his first aid kit, except the problem is it appears in Australia they find it a bit dodgy for OTC headache medication to come in white powder form. On top of the fact that it looks like cocaine, the suspicions were elevated by the sheer volume of the medication.

A case of blind luck

Campaigns to combat practices such as drug smuggling and human-trafficking are most definitely justified, but often they’re messy and appear to be mere window-dressing exercises. So you may find yourself being the victim of a case of mistaken identity in one of the worst ways possible, as was the case with another one of our readers who was mistaken for a pimp. Fortunately he’d been on the same flight as a Houston prostitution lawyer he’d made conversation with mid-air, so help was right at hand! This just goes to show that it helps to chat to people you find yourself in the same space with as it could just save you a lot of trouble.

Continue reading