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Old 03-07-2013, 11:25 PM   #31
Doing it Wrong
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Situational Awareness
Learn about culture
Don't fully trust any one
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In memory of IMPD Officer Perry W Renn. E.O.W July 5, 2014. "I will always get out of my car."
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:04 AM   #32
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To the original poster, enjoy your trip and STOP worrying, listen to the guys who obviousley have experience traveling. People are the same everywhere, if you treat them with respect, they will treat you with respect.
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Old 03-11-2013, 01:17 PM   #33
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I just returned this Fall from a trip across Eastern Europe, Turkey and Republic of Georgia (Formerly Russia). I crossed through Slovenia, Croatia, Albania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Macedonia. Before I left, everyone I told about my plans said I would be killed or robbed....

I met no one that made me feel in any way uncomfortable or threatened, except the loonies at Newark Airport.

In truth, these were some of the friendliest people I have ever encountered. Once you have traveled more you may come to the realization that is us folks in the US that are looked at as somewhat aggressive, etc.

I suspect the same can be said for most of the middle east...

So, maybe do your best to spread the word that we are peaceful folk, and don't be looking to defend yourself.

As for survival, even the third world can be pretty developed these days - but it is nice to prepare yourself, hell - you can slide of the highway near LA and be eaten by cannibals.
Normal is just a setting on the dryer.
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:40 PM   #34
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Wink Get armed

Arm yourself properly. With lots of respect and lots of smiles

Those two are the most powerful "weapons" you can have.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:44 AM   #35
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I have been a cop for 23 years and feel that situational awareness and treating others with great respect will go farther than planning on fighting your way through problems. There have been alot of great advice given however the advice reference arming yourself is dangerous. I spent time in china and thought long and hard about these same factors before traveling. I found the people to be gernerous and friendly but most importantly inquisitive. treat people the respect you want and engage them in conversation (however you can). I was in Budapest Hungary in the 90's after the Russian's were forced out The people were very off standish and would not look you in the eyes. They were suspicious of strangers.. However the youth were awsome and wanted to find out everything about you. Your trusty steed will become your olive branch. Show off your bike and have a blast! If you are expecting to be raped around every corner then you will take the fun out of it.
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:18 AM   #36
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Photojournalist Steve McCurry recommends, in his videos, trying to use, as much as possible, the services of local guides, who know the languages and the local customs, and can steer you away from making a cultural mistake, and toward a richer experience of a strange place. Seems like good advice.
I'm not afraid of dying; I just don't want to be there when it happens. -Woody Allen
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:22 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Padre View Post
Photojournalist Steve McCurry recommends, in his videos, trying to use, as much as possible, the services of local guides, who know the languages and the local customs, and can steer you away from making a cultural mistake, and toward a richer experience of a strange place. Seems like good advice.
Padre, your advice seems at odds with your sig line. Just a friendly observation. I thought it was sort of funny.

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Old 04-06-2013, 05:39 AM   #38
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I thought it was sort of funny.
Story of my life.
I'm not afraid of dying; I just don't want to be there when it happens. -Woody Allen
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Old 04-06-2013, 03:29 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Hi_Fi_Guy View Post
Will be traveling in the Middle East for 60+ days in 2013. Any suggestions for survival training and self defense from those who have attended classes and training? Looking to travel smart and not be naive but at the same time enjoy the culture and landscapes I will be traveling through.

I have 4 months to prepare and am absolutely willing to put in the time learning as much as I can about the language and culture beforehand. I consider myself to be situationally aware when traveling and would like to also learn how to handle myself smartly if any dangerous or threatening situation should present itself.

Which countries are you thinking about going to? I'm pretty sure you'll be able to get some pretty good, country specific advice from inmates here...

I loved Saudi, Bahrain and Israel - never felt threatened. Learned a few words, took a genuine interest in the local culture, maintained a reasonable level of awareness - as much as I did in London, or New York etc etc. Take sensible precautions - eg I carry a few notes and old cards in an obvious wallet just in case. Only ever had to use it once and that was to buy my way out of trouble in Morocco but it gives great peace of mind.

Find some local contacts/inmates here, meet people, respect the local culture, have an awesome time.
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:01 PM   #40
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Sent you a PM. I have a few thoughts of training. I agree with respect and politeness goes a long way... but beware and cautious when your instincts tell you there is danger.
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:09 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by rdwalker View Post
Stop listening to Fox News, trying to scare you of the big world. Get your news from world-wide sources that offer a global perspective, like BBC News and AL-Jazeera - so you know what and how other people think.
It's all the US networks, not just Fox. BBC is not the be all and end all of broadcast journalism. Al Jazeera are hardly objective. Local information is what you need and you get that from locals, not what passes for broadcast journalist correspondents these days. Ask the locals, ask a few and then make your judgement. They'll give you decent advice, and truckers the world over, can be valuable sources of info, same goes for small family operated restaurants. I live and ride every day in Mexico in an area on the US State Department list. If I listened to the BBC and other sources I likely wouldn't walk out my front door, let alone ride a motorcycle alone anywhere. The reality is very different. I've said it before and stand by it, a black belt is good for holding up your pants. If it comes down to having to use physical force to prevent something, things have already gone too far. If you win a physical confrontation and can get out of the area, good for you. However, if you win and the losers decide to get the authorities involved you'll often find that you will suddenly be the aggressor, the culprits become the victims, and you'll be dealing with something that, at the very least, will be a frustrating delay and, at the most, could be far more serious.
Best advice I follow is my own. Avoid groups of idle male youths in any country. That is where most of your trouble will come from. I mean the ones standing on a street corner with nothing to do.
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:46 PM   #42
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Hey did you find somewhere to train?
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:36 PM   #43
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As already stated, kraw maga is a good self-defense to learn. I studied taekwondo which is less useful.

However, the best defense that I've learned on my travels to 50+ countries is to learn how to make friends quickly. A calm demeanor, a smile and an extended hand go a long way. If I am in a really sketchy area I generally look for a grandmother to befriend. If you can make friends with a grandmother, she will protect you, and no body will dare mess with you.:)

I also carry a small wallet that I will willingly give up in exchange for a quick get away with my life and the rest of my possessions.
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:48 PM   #44
Adventure & Discovery
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The Possibilities

I've been all over Jordan, Israel, Syria, Lebanon and straddled the border of Saudi and Iraq.

60 days is nothing? Before you go? Instead of training self defense, invest that time learning a little Arabic!
Originally Posted by Mark Manley View Post
…the two most important things you can take for your own protection are a confident handshake and a winning smile
MARK!!!! You have it so right on. The most powerful "weapon" you can bring with you is your smile!

…self defence and survival training are possibly a little over the top.
AGREED!!! Language: Arabic lessons. Seriously. Enshallah.

…the greatest risk you will face in the Middle East is caffine poisoning from all of that Islamic hospitality.
Shai, or chai however you spell it. Good god, I couldn't go anywhere without the offer. Only had to pay for my own fuel about half the time.

Don't worry, don't have any fear. Just be open to the possibilities. And realize those possibilities.
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Old 04-30-2013, 01:07 PM   #45
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I don't think you have too much to worry about. The middle east has got to be one of the safest places to visit anywhere on the planet and as already mentioned the hospitality is fantastic

just try to remember you are a visitor and as such you should be polite. If you do manage to make a cultural faux pas, relax, smile and apologise. People can sometimes be pretty animated when they are addressing you but just try to relax and imagine they are Italian :)

one thing to avoid at ALL costs are hand gestures. never flip someone the bird no matter what they have done. they will follow you to the ends of the earth to get even. foul language is also frowned upon

there is a bunch of other little things that are pretty easy to find out such as dress conservatively, never hand anyone something with your left hand ect ect ect

most of all though I would say just relax and enjoy
they don't make 'em like they used to. which is a good thing really
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