“If you jump really high the waves will just go under you bro”
After decades of studying, observing, experiencing and writing about everything Urban Survival, I have heard some serious fantasy about what people claim they would do during an Urban Survival situation. Not surprisingly most of this so-called ‘advice’ comes from people who have never been in a Urban Survival, ‘Fight or Die’ situation or have even stepped outside of the continental US with the exception of Bus Tours in their lives.
Most of the crazy shit I have heard comes from fake tough-guys, dudes who regurgitate stuff they have read on forums and keyboard commandos that make Bear Grills’s advice look reasonable. Having spent the past 10+ living, traveling and working in the 3rd world, I have seen people (including myself) survive the worst possible situations and do what they had to do to either survive or die.
From my experience, the current 3rd world is what the 1st world would be like after a prolonged ‘event’. That may be a natural disaster, civil war, overwhelming violent crime, financial meltdown or pandemics. In my opinion, the best place to study what people will or will not do when the SHTF in the 1st world, is to study what people in the 3rd world have and are currently doing to survive day by day.
Soi Cowboy Bangkok, one of the world’s most famous Red Light Districts
And Probably NOT the place to meet your future ex-wife
Walking down Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok while on leave would not be complete without seeing some 5.11 wearing fool walking hand in hand with a rough looking ex-bargirl. Now don’t get me wrong, hopping on a plane to Bangkok to blow off some steam after working for months in some 3rd world shit-hole is pretty much tradition in the Contractor Biz.
But I am referring to the guys who, despite being somewhat reasonable folks, somehow come up with the crazy person thought of “I am going to marry a Thai Hooker – And that shit is going to work out for the long run”.
I swear if I had one dollar for every “I lost all the bread I saved up on my past six contracts on some bargirl I married” stories I have heard from contractors I would be retired now. And the most amazing part is the guy telling the story seems to be actually surprised at the outcome.
Thailand has a habit of making old men young, allowing them to relive (or re-envision) their glory days of the past and no place else on earth can you see such a grouping of fat-gutted RBK (hint, hint) Contractors on leave walking hand in hand with teenyboppers young enough to be their granddaughters.
And it is by no means only the older contractor crowd who suffers from this affliction. The younger contractor crowd, who after hearing hundreds of stories about the Wild, Wild East from the old contractor hands also come to the Big Mango to sow their oats, popping from bar to bar, getting drunk, hooking up, having the time of their lives and falling in love with #38.
This Brazilian prison is probably not the accommodations your were expecting to stay in on your tour of Latin America
Each year over 2,500 Americans are arrested overseas for everything from spitting on the sidewalk to murder. One third of these poor fuckers get locked up on dope-related charges. Many of those arrested assumed that as U.S. citizens that they couldn’t be arrested or with the mindset that the U.S. Embassy would come pick them up with just a phone call.
From Asia to Africa, Europe to South America, U.S. citizens are finding out the hard way that smoking a bong with that “nice” local gal or committing (knowingly or unknowingly) criminal offenses equals’ “Prison Man Rape” in many foreign countries.
When you are traveling in the 3rd and Developing World it is on-you to know what the laws are in a foreign country before you go, because saying “I didn’t know it was illegal to give the finger to the Douchebag who almost ran me off the road” to the tribal court judge in Hellholeastan will not get you out of jail.
In most 3rd world countries you as a foreigner have Zero legal rights at all…Period. In many of these 3rd World countries your home, car and person can be searched by the police (or even by local citizens) for any reason without a warrant or probable cause.
And many activities that are completely legal or normal in your home country are considered serious crimes in the host country.
Things like holding hands or kissing in public, women driving a car, honking your horn at someone who cut you off, owning a GPS device or camera phone, owning certain books, speaking unfavorably about the local government, attending church at a friend’s home and having a copy of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue on the backseat of your car are crimes in certain parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
I do my own dentistry
First the disclaimer. What follows is for informational purposes only. Nothing should be construed as dental advice. Without a proper diagnosis by a qualified dentist, appropriate treatment cannot be recommended. If you find yourself in the midst of a dental emergency/urgency, seek care from a qualified dentist as soon as possible. If you read this and then think you are an expert, you are the author of your own demise and it’s not my fault.
No one wants to think about dental emergencies when “out and about” but emergencies happen nonetheless. There are many possible scenarios that qualify as dental emergencies, and unfortunately, there are some things that just simply can’t be properly treated in the field. There are other occurences, however, that do lend themselves to “ditch dentistry” to hold you together until you get back to a dentist.
Prevention is easier – “Going For The Gold”:
I have accepted the fact that no one likes to go to the dentist, I don’t even like to go to the dentist. When working/living/traveling in hot zones, the open ocean, jungles, or other far away places, however, it is far better to have definitive dentistry completed prior going to your gig. The last thing you want to deal with is a dental problem especially a dental problem that could have been prevented.
Definitive dentistry does not necessarily mean that you don’t have any new cavities and you’ve had your teeth cleaned. Definitive dentistry means utilizing crowns, inlays, onlays, bridges, etc. to treat the teeth as comprehensively as possible to get the longest lifespan possible out of the teeth and the restorations. This treatment is more expensive and more extensive than simple fillings, but if it is done properly, it will be worth the investment.
When traveling in the 3rd world one of your only weapon options may be an edged weapon – hopefully it will work out better for you than it did for this guy
Disclaimer: The following article is for academic and entertainment uses only – do not follow the information below.
Over the past 10 years I have spent about 90% of my time outside of the U.S. ether for work, traveling to a gig or just exploring. Most of the countries I visit or pass through are relatively safe outside of random crime or getting hit by a taxi.
But many times I am traveling in countries that have a small minority who dislikes westerners – dislikes as in: “hates my guts and would love to kidnap and kill me over the internet” dislike. In most of these countries I am passing through on my way to a gig so I am only carrying what is allowed in a carry-on bag so flying with any type of “weapon” is not even an option.
Even when I am staying somewhere long enough where I can grab my checked luggage I don’t like to pack knives, impact weapons or anything resembling military or police equipment because it can draw unwanted attention when going through customs (I once spent 2 hours in Kuwait arguing with customs over a Ka-Bar in my checked luggage).
Not to mention I don’t want an expensive knife or flashlight “borrowed” from my bag (ask anyone who has flown through Amman about missing knives, lights and GPS’s).
So my only other option is to locally source “defensive tools” from whatever semi-legitimate store, souk or even the grocery store.