A family member of mine went to Jamaica on holiday and ran into a bit of trouble while there. This family member does not 'tell tall tales' and I was floored about what she went through. She and hubby were told not to venture off their resort property but she wanted to get out and about and look around the town center. So off they went one night, did not take any money or bags with them, no cameras, etc. Just out for a walk. Shortly upon entering the town, they felt uncomfortable. It was very seedy and rundown, with passed out people literally just laying around. Just as they were thinking they made a mistake, a nice man came up and offered to take them to the shops. Being silly nannies from Canada who had never been to Jamaica before, they followed the nice man along... It soon became apparent that the man wanted money for his 'guide tour' and he was totally ticked that they only had $4.25 on them. He snatched the money and left them standing in an alley. There were some cute shops in the alley, but they REALLY had no money now. A shopkeeper came out and herded my female family member into her store and started draping necklaces around her neck, telling her how pretty she was, etc. My family member said that she had no money on her at all but would come back on Tuesday (2 days) because they were booked on a tour the next day.... Once they finally got out of the shops and found the street that led back to their resort, my female family member was approached by a woman saying "Hello beautiful lady. Do you have money for me?".
When she replied 'No, Im so sorry, I have NO money', the woman persisted and followed the couple. Again they said they were sorry but did not have any money at all, and the woman started CHASING THEM. She was yelling 'You white lady, you hate black people!'. She repeated this and was literally running down the street chasing this young couple. They were so totally freaked out, the husband ran ahead leaving his wife in his dust (I laugh about it now cos I can just picture this oil rig dude running his ass off ahead of a very angry Jamaican woman). But can you imagine that?? I was really shocked. Again, take this story as you will, but this family member does NOT tell hokey pokey crap stories. She was very upset about her little adventure. She doesn't know if it was her imagination and fear, or what, but it seemed like as they were running and people were listening to the woman yelling about 'you hate black people!', the crowd seemed to move closer to them. They were freaked the hell right out and did not go back there 2 days later as planned. So basically, because of how they were treated, the people in the shops, the impromptu tour guide, and the woman who chased them, all lost out on getting the pair's multiple shopping dollars that would have been on offer a couple days later. I wonder how often this goes on?? This couple will NEVER EVER put their money into anything other than a resort if they travel anywhere like that on holiday again.
I didn't have trouble like that when I went to Mexico in 1995 (i think) even though their market crashed badly right when I was there, moving from 3 or 4 pesos to a dollar, to 7 pesos to a dollar. I could wander around Mazatlan and not feel afraid at all. Sure I had people coming up to me, but it didn't bother me and I wasn't hounded... unless it was 2am and I saw all the little children out trying to sell photos of tourists with their iguanas... that bothered me but I didn't feel hunted or shamed like my family member just did in Jamaica. My friend that got married in the Dominican Republic said their resort sent an armed escort with them when they wanted to tour the town, so they decided it was not worth visiting the city if that's what it took to get in there safely (that was in the mid 90s). They stayed on the resort the whole time instead. But this Jamaican adventure just happened recently.