How Not to be Kidnapped in the Global South

— by Elizabeth


1. Call your trustworthy tuk tuk driver when it’s time to run errands.

2. If he’s not available, accept the replacement he sends.

3. Bring your daughter along with you.

4. Begin to worry when he takes an unplanned detour into a gas station yet skips past the pumps. (Think: He didn’t mention anything about this. Remember you have your 4 year old with you. Is he meeting someone here to exchange drugs? Are you going to be kidnapped? Held at gunpoint? Robbed? Should you call your husband, so he knows exactly where and when you were last located?)

5. You notice he seems to be heading toward the compressed air.  That must be what he needs. No, he passes it, turns around, and gets back on the main street. Breathe.

6. Don’t freak out when he turns into another gas station, gets out, and walks away.

7. Do not panic when you start rolling backwards toward the busy street because he forgot to put on the brake. Look around calmly. Try to judge the point at which you and your daughter will need to jump out.

8. You can relax again when he turns back, apologizes, and uses the brake to prevent any further rolling.

9. Watch him go directly to the public bathroom and return 5 minutes later, presumably from Montezuma’s Revenge, Delhi Belly, or some other geographical intestinal affliction.

10. Continue with your planned errands and determine to put your paranoid tendencies to death.

5 thoughts on “How Not to be Kidnapped in the Global South

  1. I agree. Don’t put the paranoid tendencies to death…Pay attention to your gut feelings. You were wise to be ultra alert in that situation!

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