And just when you think that nothing else can go wrong I get mugged again. This time it was only for money in the street no drugs or chewing gums. But it was more of the timing that was annoying. I was still waiting for my replacement Visa card from the last robbery, leaving my apartment the next day, and down to my last $150 in cash. I had transferred some money through to my emergency card but it takes up to 72 hours to arrive here in Brazil.
The irony was that I was walking down the street at night to give away my pillows and sheets and sleeping mat to the people who were living on the street. For some reason, there were none to be found and I had to walk to the next suburb to finally relieve myself of all of the bedding. On the way back, someone else kindly relieved me of my last $150. I had been careless and in a rush to get my apartment cleaned up and I hadn’t thought about how much money I had in my pockets before I left.
I was due to go to Miracema the next day. Miracema is like the outback of the state of Rio de Janeiro and it was going to cost around $35 for the bus. I also needed to catch a taxi to the bus station which was going to cost between $10-18. Having had my last money stolen and only having $9 in notes I was feeling a little worried. Then I remembered my coin collection I had counted it earlier and it had come to $42. Picture granny at the bank counting out 1,000 five-cent coins and you might get a better idea of what I was working with.
I didn’t sleep very well that night, being financially unsure about everything that was to happen the next day, and I only had a packet of biscuits to eat which left me pretty hungry. It really made me stop and think what it must be like to be down to your last dollar and have no option of a place to go but the street. At least I had options of friends that I could stay with if it came to the worst.
But the next morning I signed out of the apartment, went to the bank and found that my transferred money had come through just in time to help me keep me off the streets.
Some of you may be reading this and thinking, Get out of that country you crazy traveller you! Not a chance. I wouldn’t swap the experiences I’ve had for anything. Overcoming our problems makes us stronger and wiser. I also don’t want to put you off coming to Brazil. The two bad people I met in Rio are nothing in comparison to the hundreds and thousands of other friendly, genuine people I met here.