Introduction: Good guys & bad guys
We were really lucky (and careful) during our drive down to
Fast forward to
Part 1: A stroke of luck
For a couple of months we were fine – flying below the radar in our very recognizable gringo-mobile with
Part 2: Luck always ends
A few weeks passed and incident #2 occurred. This is where things started to go downhill. Ben was driving his work car in
Within minutes we reported the stolen passports & credit cards (which had already been used), but nothing could be done about the personal things that he lost. We’re unable to make an insurance claim, as the rates will inevitably go up (understandable), but losing nearly $1000 worth of our own personal things hurts – a lot – especially when you consider that is the amount that I make for 4 months worth of work. Plus most of the things lost are necessities for Ben, so they will need to be replaced regardless.
Part 3: When bad gets worse
Arriving at the border Saturday morning, we explained the situation to the migration officer and received our exit stamp from
if only it really were monopoly money!
So back to the Aduana office we went where they again, refused to help us. Why? We could never really get a clear answer. Most likely because of having exit and entry stamps on the same day or because we didn’t have the original title to the car (nevermind that we made it the whole way down to
Resolution: This too shall pass
Back at the window for the Aduana Office again (now I am hysterical) we finally get a “boss” to assist us, who also turned out to be a lawyer. Luckily Guatemalan men don’t like to see a lady bawling her eyes out, and they turn soft. While we waited they met and got their stories straight and the explanation that we were given for all of the hassle from their office was because we didn’t have the original title. We offered to show the scanned copy we have stored electronically, but he didn’t really care. Instead he questioned us a bit about our jobs, where we live, etc. Turns out the guy’s ex-wife lives only a few blocks from us in
can't say that I see the resemblance
Conclusion: Long story short
Rules to follow when in
Buy a discreet looking backpack. Never carry anything of value. Don’t believe the Consulate. Bring the original title. Have someone other than the Embassy you can turn to in case of an emergency. Let them know you won’t be extorted. Cry. Do your best to look like someone famous. Rely on luck!