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Safety...

Sydney
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Safety...

Ok so i'm going to BA in 3 weeks and i'm totally spooked by a work colleague who just got back and was carjacked at gun point during her holiday in BA!...i've been reading the forum and i'm trying to keep a level head about it. she hailed a cab in la boca...big mistake right?

Buenos Aires...
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1. Re: Safety...

Not knowing all the details of exactly what your colleague did the day she was mugged, I would say that the most important thing for you to do is to keep calm and remember that the least common of all senses, (common sense) will ensure you have a great vacation.

Take radio taxis, try to have them ordered and try to not select cabs on your own on the street (unless you are with a local or an experienced tourist)... avoid drawing attention to yourself and use big city smarts... you will be fine.

Enjoy your trip!

Sydney
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2. Re: Safety...

Thanks Gaucho...her story just freaked me out a bit, she didn't have a very good holiday as she got robbed on the 2nd day. but i've read everything there is to read on this forum and guide books etc so i'm hoping i'm sorta prepared. no hailing taxis willy nilly, no counting money in public etc...

I am counting the days, can't believe i'll be there soon!

Solothurn...
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571 posts
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3. Re: Safety...

It's not necessarily dangerous hailing a cab on the streets. I do it during daytime and if I'm with other people, but will def stick to radio taxis if I'm alone and after dark. As Gaucho said, take you common sense anywhere you go and you'll be most likely just fine.

I don't mean to say your friend wasn't thinking, it's just that you don't explain how it happened, when, where exactly or in which circumstances.

Edited: 15 December 2009, 10:47
Sydney
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4. Re: Safety...

yeah, no, i know, long story, but from the gist of it she hailed a cab with her friend from la boca in the afternoon. the cab driver drove into a quiet street (she thinks he may have had something to do with it), he slowed down and 3 youths jumped the car and one of them had a gun apparently. then they took everything they had. the cab driver then drove them to the police station.

don't really have exact details myself but knowing her, who knows!

just paranoid. but thank you for your no nonsense replies. you're absolutely right, i just gotta practice common sense.

thanks all

Buenos Aires...
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires
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18,039 posts
101 reviews
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5. Re: Safety...

This story would just make me avoid going to La Boca.. I have always , for years, been warned about the risk of going to Boca.. that one must only walk on one particular street, have a restaurant call a taxi company for you to get a taxi, never hail one off the street etc.

I am sorry this happened to your friend, it must have been so horrifying, I can't imagine how frightened she was. It is just terrible that this goes on here.

But for your information ... don't bother going to La Boca.

Hail only Radio Taxis when on the street.

Follow normal rules for staying in big cities, don't walk down dark streets alone at night, etc.

Keep your bag close at all times and do not carry your passport with you, carry a copy.

I have lived here almost 3 years now and thankfully we have not been robbed, you just have to be careful and alert ( as you would in any big city) and don't do things that are just crazy..like taking a taxi off the street in Boca. ( read guidebooks, you will learn from them)

Buenos Aires...
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6. Re: Safety...

Just to give you a little more perspective, I routinely hail cabs in the middle of the night (after a milonga), by myself, in areas ranging from Balvanera to Constitución to Boedo. I don't pay attention to whether it's a radio taxi (as has been discussed before, a radio taxi only makes a difference if you are phoning for one), but I do pay attention to the car and driver. If there's a vibe about either, I'll wait for the next. I am also very picky about the street I stand on.

I wouldn't flag a taxi in La Boca at night, but I have flagged them several times during the day without issue. I don't go to the touristy part of La Boca, though. My guess would be that these organized robberies are only around the Caminito, since that's the only place to find people with money.

What happened to your friend was truly a horrible trauma. But don't let it freak you out about the city... the odds are hugely against it if you use your street smarts.

Buenos Aires...
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7. Re: Safety...

I should clarify my post, otherwise it is bad advice. So many of these safety questions come down to whether you are used to navigating in a big city. If not, phone for taxis. And if you don't know the streets here, I don't mean to suggest you should be flagging cabs in Constitución. I only wanted to give another perspective.

Sydney
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18 posts
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8. Re: Safety...

yeah, i'll keep my wits about me, thanks for all the advice. would you recommend leaving valuable stuff (like passport etc) in the apartment? we're renting one for the time we are there.

Cheers

Buenos Aires...
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9. Re: Safety...

Definitely leave the passport in your apartment.

Buenos Aires
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512 posts
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10. Re: Safety...

I agree with Sylvie about the radio taxi . It only makes a difference if you call for one otherwise it's just like any other taxi there is no record of who is being picked up or where. It sounds like your friend's situation was planned and the driver was in on it. Definitely leave your passport in the apt.... carry a photocopy . it's also helpful to have small amounts of money for the taxis so no large bills are shown and they can't cheat you on the change. Mostly they are honest hard working individuals but there are exceptions.