Walking While Gringo = DWB

Sao Paulo Travel Blog

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so last night ben and I had nothing better to do, so we decided to go back to Villa Madalena (bar district). After dinner, we wandered around looking for the bar from saturday night. At one point we got to a major intersection and saw a cop car driving by with their lights off. I thought that was kinda wierd, so i pointed it out to ben.

As we watched the car, they stopped, watching us. Bad vibes were exchanged. Suddenly 4-5 cops bailed outta the car (brazilian cops roll like clowns, with cars packed full of officers) telling us to put up our hands. two had their guns drawn, and one was pointing their gun at us. Ben didn't understand what was going on, less the portuguese commands (apparently he doesn't speak 'gun in face'), so I told him to get his hands up and tried to explain to the cops that he spoke no portuguese and mine was bad. they had us turn around, spread our legs, and lock our fingers behind our heads, still yelling at us as they interrogated me about where we were from and what we were doing. ben and I stayed calm, more confused than scared despite the guns. the cop who patted me down stopped at my wallet, asking me if I had any drugs on me. of course I didn't.

they never asked us to present any form of identification; i suppose our accents spoke for us. they also never apologized for the harrassment--an apology definitely would have been appreciated at least from the cop who unnecessarily grabbed my balls really hard as he frisked me.

the bar scene was lame that night. it was a monday after all, and super cold. in fact, that's probably why the cops hassled us: it was strange for anyone to be out at all. \ hey probably though we were tourists loking for drugs. Afterwards, ben and I stopped at the first bar we saw and got some stiff drinks. the mood had been killed by the incident, so we left soon afterwards (the bar was closing early anyway).

fucking police.

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Sao Paulo
photo by: Eric