Tourist Flock... So Go The Thieves
market, just as colorful
(William Ing, photo)
is no different than any other tourist mecca: during high
season the thieves, robbers and all other modes of scoundrels
travel from all points in the country, and converge like fish
at a feeding frenzy. While cameras, shorts, and slowly sauntering
and gazing are dead giveaways, there are still ways that travelers
can protect themselves.
Be extra vigilant while in areas where there is a high volume
of pedestrian traffic such as along aisles on town market
days (in particular Friday at Ocotlán and Sunday at
Tlacolula). Outright avoid Saturday at Oaxacas abastos
market, and opt for visiting on any other day
be just as awe inspiring.
The larger the camera, the more attractive to crooks. Certainly
dont leave home without your Nikon, but keep it in front
of you with your hand over the lens, and when you know you
wont be using it for a while, keep it tucked away. Its
better to travel with it in its bag, but put all your equipment
in a more non-descript sack. Consider clutching one of the
common, large vinyl or potato-sack mesh market bags youll
see for sale in markeplaces and in other locales.
Never carry your purse simply strung over your shoulder. Once
youve finished using your wallet, place it deep inside
your purse, and never forget to zip up. Once again, remember
that the safest place to carry anything, is right in front
While the quality of costume jewelry is ever improving, therefore
making it more difficult for robbers to distinguish real from
surreal, its still always prudent to restrict being
flashy, as difficult as it may seem. Save it all for when
in the company of friends and relatives you want to impress.
Your average working class Oaxacan will already think youre
worth much more than you actually are, so theres no
need for further illustration.
After youre done using the ATM, while still in front
of the machine put the cash in your wallet, purse or pocket.
If concerned that you might have been short-changed, count
the funds right there in front of the machine, or wait until
youre otherwise in an area or room where others cannot
watch those 500s rolling off your fingers. All the same
advice holds true when cashing money at a Casa de Cambio.
Counting your money while on the street cannot possibly benefit
Travel to Oaxaca can and should be an immensely rewarding
and certainly a rich cultural experience. Heed this simple
advice, and be assured that your trip will live up to your
expectations, without qualification.
Machaya Oaxaca Bed & Breakfast ( http://www.oaxacadream.com
Starkman Casa Machaya Oaxaca Bed & Breakfast ( http://www.oaxacadream.com
) combines the best of bed & breakfast Oaxaca with a downtown
Oaxaca hotel style characterized by service and comfort. Inquire
about Alvins Oaxaca tours, completely personalized to
meet your specific interests and passions. Alvin is the Oaxaca
destinations expert for a major international travel website.
Casa Machaya is a founding member of the Oaxaca Bed &
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