Jun
09

Dealing with a stolen debit card and enjoying a fling in Brazil.

There I stood at the ATM and my card was not working. I had already tried at 4 different ATMs. I was upset and running out of cash and really needed to get cash out. I planned to enjoy some relaxing time in a small town and instead spent it with a bank. I went back to the hostel and called the bank. That is when I found out my debit card was compromised and why it didn’t allow me to withdraw any money. I asked how and they said, someone had cloned the card and was also attempting to withdraw and let me know a new one had to be sent to me. I was beyond pissed and asked how long it would take and they said anywhere from 5 – 10 days. As soon as I heard that I knew that the 10 days I wanted to spend on Ilha Grande were not going to happen because I only had about $100 cash on me and no way that would last that long. Dealing with the bank turned out to be a nightmare mostly because of the shitty WiFi I had in the hostel.

Paraty, Brasil—Paraty is a cute colonial town painted in white with colorful windows and doors.—

I let them know that I was not at home and that I would need the card to be shipped overseas to Brazil. They said that could be done, but would need to fill out extra paper work to verify it’s me and the address the card will be sent to. They emailed me the forms I needed to fill out and asked me to send them back via the online banking site. I asked the hostel if I could have my card sent to them and they said yes. I filled out the paper work and tried sending it to them and it wasn’t happening. As they were informing me of what other way I can do it the power went out. Yes the power went out and didn’t come back for 13 hours. That night I didn’t sleep worried about my bank card and sweating because without power the AC doesn’t work. The next morning I woke up and talked with the bank and they let me know to download a fax app and fax them the forms. I did just that and after a few tries it went through. I called to verify that they received it and it did. We verified all the information and they informed me that everything should be good to go. They also informed me that I could call later to get the tracking number of the debit card and keep track of it. I was happy and took off with friends to the beach that day and made the most of it. The next morning I called again and they let me know the tracking number was not ready but that they would email it to me. I wasn’t happy about that, but was glad to hear everything was fine and it was being processed to be shipped out soon. I caught my bus and ferry to Ilha Grande. There I spent 5 days instead of 10 and have shared how that all went down.

Paraty, Brasil—A man riding a bike past a house in Paraty.—

After 5 days on Ilha Grande I returned to the hostel in Paraty and of course still no card. The card had actually been held at customs while I was on Isha Grande. I had to call them and give them my passport number and verify it was not merchandise. I had no choice, but to keep waiting and well the good thing was that my plans were open as long as I was able to make my flight to Iguazu Falls. So I arrived back and logged onto Grindr. Yes of course it’s one of the first things I do when I arrive in a new city to get a taste of whats around me…lol. I logged on and this very cute guy messaged me (very cute guys NEVER message me…lol). We talked a little and exchanged photos. He seemed sweet and moments later asked me to meet him at the main church in Plaza Martzel at midnight. I told him MIDNIGHT?  He said, “yes midnight because I work late”. I thought about it because I don’t like meeting people at night, but know that it’s a busy Plaza so should be fine. Midnight arrived and we met up.

Paraty, Brasil—It’s so beautiful, simple and a wonderland for minimalist.—

We looked at each other and with a look kind of agreed that it was just going to work. With a look I thought he was cute and he agreed I was cute. He tells me he is going to take me to his favorite spot in town. I was nervous because it was the very end of a peer that goes far into the water. We made it to the end and just sat there. We were alone not a single other person in sight. We talked for what seemed like forever and got to know each other. Then he kissed me and the kiss was great. We kept kissing and both got very excited. We felt each other while kissing and moments later each went down on each other. The chemistry was on point and we both wanted more. He asked me if I wanted to go to his place. He let me know it wasn’t close, but not so far either and walking distance. I thought why not and we went. It was a good 30 minute walk until we finally arrived. When he opened the door I was a bit shocked. It was just a square bedroom with a toilet and shower attached to it. Not even a closet and I noticed it was a bit dirty, but carried on anyway. I thought this was going to be a one night thing.

So we arrived and ended up having sex right away. It was nice and had sex twice that night an then again in the morning. That night he had warned me that if I kept the fan on he would get sick. I wanted the fan on though because I was hot. That morning we agreed to meet up again at midnight. Sadly that didn’t happen because he was sick. We did meet up, but I did not go to his place. We just met up and talked instead. That talk left me in tears.

Paraty, Brasil—It’s a town full of arts and crafts.—

He let me know that he moved to Paraty from Sao Paulo with only $R20 (<$7) in his pockets. He arrived and had no choice, but to live in the slums. He did everything in his power to get out of there with random jobs. Now he’s finally out. He works as a waiter everyday of the week and only makes $R1000 (<$333) a month. Of that half of it goes to rent. So then he only has $R500 for the rest of the month to pay other bills and try to survive and save a little. I couldn’t believe it at all. Then he told me, “Jaime I live in paradise, but it’s not mine it’s for the tourist. I’m just a slave here.” – my heart was sinking… I wanted to cry and then he told me how he wishes he could have one day off to rest and do nothing for a change. I felt horrible because here I am on a two year trip around the world…. fuck I’m on my second two year trip around the world and this guy can’t even get a day off. For some reason I asked him if that’s why he really hadn’t cleaned his apartment (I don’t know why I asked that, but did) and he let me know he can’t really clean his apartment because he can not afford to buy the things he needs to clean it. I was fighting the tears back and asked him if I could please take him shopping before I leave Paraty. He said, “yes”. Ahh that night was intense and we only talked for less than an hour. We made plans to meet up again the next night.

11075032_10152889069113043_7789932187487433344_n—EEEEEEEEeeeeeeee I finally got my debit card!!!—

That next day I spent it at the hostel waiting for my debit card and working on my blog. My debit card finally arrived. I was so excited I couldn’t believe it. That meant I could leave, but I didn’t want to just yet now that I met this guy. That night we met up at midnight and went straight to his place. We were both tired so just had sex and went to sleep together. The next morning we had sex again and then got dressed. I was taking him shopping.

Paraty, Brasil—It’s just too cute and perfect.—

We got a cart and slowly started to put things in it. We started with bars of soap, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, a body scrub, a cute lime green trash can, rug, broom, dust pan, dog food and few other essentials. It was only things he needed. He didn’t once put anything he didn’t need. As we were filling up the cart I was just thinking fuck I have never gone without any of these things because I couldn’t afford them. Spending $50 of mine to help someone out is nothing in the grand scheme of things and was glad I was able to help him out. Also he is an amazing guy and to let someone help you is not easy. We walked back to his apartment and started cleaning. He cleaned the shower and toilet while I swept the bedroom. Dog hair every where and if you have met me you know I can not stand dog hair and I think that is why I asked about his apartment not being clean, because it wasn’t really dirty just had dog hair everywhere. I swept it all up and organized things up a bit. When we were done we were already naked cleaning from the heat so we had sex in the shower and then rested a bit. It was almost time for him to go to work so I asked him if I could take him to lunch before hand and he said, “yes”. We found a cheap place to eat and ate. While we were eating he said, “Thank you.” I said, “For what?” he said, “Because I can’t remember the last time I had lunch before.” I wanted to cry right then and there, but just said, “no problem”. It was gut wrenching. Being with him was so eye opening. I was seeing a side of Paraty tourist don’t see. Then we said our see you later because we made plans to meet up again that night.

Paraty, Brasil—Two guys restoring/painting a house from 1856.—

The night arrived and it was going to be our last night together. We had sex twice again and then just spent the rest of the night talking. We didn’t want to fall asleep. We finally did though and night turned into morning. We woke up and held each other and avoided the fact that I needed to be at the hostel at 10am to checkout and change dorms. We had sex one last time and it was the perfect way to end it. We made plans to see each other the next night but we did not want to spend it together because it would be harder to say goodbye. Before I left that morning he asked me to please write him a letter. Turns out he likes to collect a letter from people he meets in his life that mean something to him. He said to write what I feel in the letter. I went back to the hostel and enjoyed a day of doing nothing and writing his letter.

Paraty, Brasil—A lady cleaning the window of a house.—

The time came to see him one last time where we first met in front of the church in the plaza. It was pouring rain, but I wasn’t not going to see him. So went out in the rain and waited for him in front of the church like I had every night before. There I was waiting when he finally strolled up in his bike that is falling apart. He looked so heartbroken and a bit sad, I knew why. We talked he said thanks for everything and called me his “crazy gringo angel vacation passion” one last time and said a million other nice things. I thanked him too and then we said our goodbye. He looked at me and there in front of the church door kissed me one last time as the rain continued to fall. I walked back to my hostel with the letter he gave me in hand and felt sad and guilty. I know I didn’t allow myself to get attached at all to him. I just didn’t want to go through what happened with the guy in Montevideo. I feel so guilty about it because according to the letter he fell in love with me. I feel bad because I didn’t. Yes it was nice and amazing and I’m glad I was able to help him. I did that for him. It’s who I am… I will help anyone if I can. It was just all great, but that was it for me… nothing more. I have my heart set on him in Cairo and I know how to enjoy sex with out feelings in the mean time. Don’t judge I am human after all and single. I know I shouldn’t play with peoples emotions, but I can’t help it that he fell for me and maybe that is why I got sick. Karma is a bitch and even though it wasn’t part of my plans it happened.

Looking back at this I think it was a more profound experience for me. It honestly showed me a side of a place that looks perfect on the surface when in reality it is being run by people who are barely making it by. It also reminded me how lucky I am to be from where I am from. Yes I am lucky because at the end of the day where you are born will dictate a big portion of the life you end up living or can live. I think I have mentioned this before, but travel isn’t about the places you see it is about the people you meet along the way. We all cross paths at a certain point in time for a reason unknown to us at the moment. Sometimes  we never know, but sometimes that reason is to remind us to be thankful for what we have and to always help others when we can. This guy was a genuine hardworking man who never asked for anything. I was the one that offered and helped because I can.

I honestly don’t know what else to say. I wanted to share this not because it’s a crazy fling in Brazil, but because beyond the fling I hope people see the reality of life for many locals we encounter day to day as we travel the world. Travel is a privilege & every person we meet has a story… don’t ever forget that.

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Comments

  1. Being from the UK I’m in a similar position to you in the sense that I’ve never been without any of that stuff either and I think we forget sometimes just how lucky we are.You probably made that guy’s year with such a simple act of kindness!

    🙂
    Jess recently posted..DAY ONE OF THE BIG TRIP: Some introductions and some big rocks

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Jess you’re right we really do forget many times how lucky we are in life in general. It’s moments like this that remind us to slow down and enjoy life because honestly we have it good. I know made his day that day and well he told me when I left that every time he uses one of the things I bought him he will think of me. That’s more than I could ever ask for.

  2. I had so many emotions going on while reading this:
    – your ATM disaster.. I would have died!
    – “get a taste of what’s around me.” <– LOL!
    – sex, sex, sex… where was my luck with this when I was young and free?!! (Shh…don't tell G…)
    – his square bedroom – i look at my condo and often think, we could use more space.. mindlessly thinking… It really puts everything into perspective.
    – his comment on how we view his home as paradise but that he's just "a slave" there. My heart sank…
    – how he couldn't clean because he can't afford supplies. My heart sank even more..
    – your act of kindness with cleaning supplies and lunch brought a smile to my face. And I'm sure to his.

    I'm sure this all started out as casual sex but I think you both walked away with a new and different found of appreciation. I know I did after reading this.. 🙂

    Thanks,
    Q
    Kieu recently posted..On traveling Spain by bus, our @Busbud review

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Love your comment Q…
      -Yes I wanted to die when I found out about my debit card. It was such a mess to deal with but was happy I received it.
      -bajaja yes I logon to get a taste of whats around me and sadly its normally not cute.
      -bajajaja sex happens everywhere well if you want it to happen. You are still young & you have a hot husband!
      -oh yes when I walked into his square bedroom i was like wow this is it? Really does put everything into perspective.
      -I wanted to cry when he told me he is a “slave” in my paradise. I mean how do I even reply to that? I couldn’t. I just stayed quite.
      -Yes my heart sank even more and is why I had to offer to help him. It wasn’t for me to feel good it was because I could help him. He couldn’t stop smiling while we were shopping and while I took him to have lunch.

      It really did start out as casual sex but in the end we both walked away a better person.

  3. I really liked your story and journey. Next time, make sure you visit some rainforests, I am sure this will provide you with material for some great photos and a captivating report.

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Hi Felipe, I didn’t visit rainforest in Brazil but did in Bolivia and will be writing about that soon.

  4. Hi, this might be a stupid question, but were your conversations in English the whole time? I just wanted to know if it’s easy to get around Brazil using only English. Thanks

    • Jaime Davila says:

      OMG Paro… no that is not a stupid question at all. I can’t believe I didn’t include that. Damn it. Our conversations were in English he spoke English very well because he taught himself English watching videos on YouTube. Yeah crazy the ambition people have when they want to succeed and do more in life. As for traveling in Brazil not knowing Portuguese you will be fine. I didn’t know a word of it and got around. Do learn the days of the week because that is trickiest part to understand when you are booking bus tickets, but you will be fine with English.

  5. Like your reader Kieu, I had a million emotions reading this entry. Most of all, I was so touched that you bought cleaning supplies to tidy up the guy’s room. It made me think about the reality for millions of people in Brazil (and the rest of the world). The thing about Brazil is that the salaries for so many reflect a developing country, yet the cost of most goods is what the so-called “first world” pays. So much is unbalanced here! I know I am lucky to have a good job in São Paulo, but I work so hard to maintain a standard of living. I also have to work hard to save money to leave. I think I told you that my partner and I want to live in the States. It’s going to be very, very expensive to go through the immigration process to bring my partner over. But I guess that’s my reality. My choice….. That leads me to the strongest emotion I went through reading this: whistfulness. I found myself wondering what my life would have been like if I hadn’t got involved in an international relationship. I found myself getting a bit jealous of you…. I’d probably be traveling around the world like you. It’s just not possible now. I know I made my choice, but sometimes I want to travel so much. I think about all the freedom. It’s tiring dealing with immigration issues all the time. I don’t know if you will be going through that when you return to Egypt, but brace yourself for it if you do. You have to give up a lot…. I guess that is the journey I chose. I shouldn’t be jealous of your journey. I will try to turn that emotion into inspiration. Inspiration will take me farther.

    • Jaime Davila says:

      OMG David… no joke those were my thoughts exactly about salaries in Brazil. How is it that y’all have third world salaries but first world prices? I was buying all these things and when I paid it was like $50. I thought fuck that is like more than 15% of his salary… of course he can’t afford to buy this when half is already going to rent. Meeting this guy blew my mind in many ways and I hope more people read this to realize how it really is like in some of the places we visit. As for you & your partner going through immigration to move to the USA… oh i have thought about that long and hard and know it wont be easy at all. I also know that if I do go back to Egypt and want to make that happen my way of life will change for ever and I think I am okay with that. I will deal with that when the time comes and see how it all is. If the feelings havent changed then I know I will be more than willing to do everything in my power to make it all work. Ahhh just the thought of that scares me but you know what? Love makes us do crazy things. For now though want to enjoy this to the max while I can. We all chose our journey and as long as we are happy doing so it is all good. Not all journeys are easy and in the end I think the best journeys are the harder ones. More meaning for us when it all comes to fruition.

  6. Jessica says:

    We didn’t need to know the number of times you had sex with this guy!!!! Lol you have no filter, but thanks for sharing the story. His state,met to you about living in someone else’s paradise is eye opening & sad.

    Love you
    xo
    Jessica

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Sorry Jessica that I have no filter… I know I thought about too but was like whatever… why not. It was really eye opening meeting him and the difference in what my paradise is and his reality is there.

      • Yes he does Jessica! lol. Like I told Jaime before it’s so refreshing that someone is honest about their travel experience. You travel, you hook up and meet amazing people. And sexual flings do happen. It happens to me when I travel but I’m like why is no one writing about it. I’m glad Jaime does, it keeps it real and authentic. I can relate not just about hook ups but about meeting amazing people and how their life stories impact you own. Based on similar experience I no longer have bad or rough days because when I look at the people who I meet that face true hardship on a daily basis with no end in sight. I have no right to complain. Another example on how travel can make you grow and at least try to become a better person.

  7. This is one crazy post. First, you share the frustrations of dealing with getting your card compromised. That mustve really sucked to have changed your plans cuz of something beyond your control. But glad that it got sorted out quick. Second, your story with this guy is just sad. I mean sad because the reality of life in those places you visited may be so different from how they are percieved by foreigners. Thats just a reality of life especially in places where there is a huge socio economic gap. How you helped him was truly touching. You may helped him more than youll ever know. As sad as it sounds, people from 1st world countries could really learn a lot on the struggles of the rest of the world…and I think you just did that. Do you still manage to stay in touch with him?

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Tabs… oh yes it sucked dealing with the card, but you know when I think about it maybe it all happened so I would have to go back to Paraty and meet this guy? I know sounds crazy but I am a huge believer in everything happens for a reason. In the end though it is a sad because it really is the reality of life on the road. We visit these places and think they are paradise. When in reality the true story behind the scenes is mostly tragic. It’s the harsh reality but I am glad I could help this guy out.

  8. This is one hell of a post! I clicked on it because I am in China right now and i get so fucking nervous every time an ATM lets me go through all the motions and then ends with “call your issuing bank.” Despite me knowing this happens constantly and I just need to try a new ATM, I always start to freak out.

    But then you went so far past the debit card debacle. Jamie, you are such a nice person. To do all of that for someone just really shows how great you are. That guy will never forget the impact you left on his life.

    Do not ever feel guilty for not having feelings for someone who has them for you. It is not your fault you are so wonderful that he fell for you. If you led him on (I do not think you did) that is one thing. But if you were straight up just having sex, you cannot control the other person’s thoughts and feelings.

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Jennifer… you are not alone. Everytime I use any ATM anywhere in the world… I am like PLEASE DONT TAKE MY CARD!!! Yeah in Brazil it would also always tell me I cant withdraw and every time I freak out until it actually did happen and I was like FUCK! As for the other part of the story… thank you so much for telling me to not feel guilty for not having feelings for him. Yeah I told him from the start and well I just didn’t allow myself to have any. Its still hard though cus I just feel bad, but things are good now. We do talk every once in a while and of course as time passes its less and less.

  9. Sal Montes says:

    Lovely Post as usual Jaime, it is sad that the poor people run the world in the background for us to enjoy.

    Thanks for sharing amigo, take care.

    Sal

  10. Showing my age but I guess I’m the only one who hoped you used protection. Yikes.

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