What is the most frightening moment you have ever experienced in another country?
Yep. When we got pulled over for speeding on the highways.
To be fair it was the speed limit was 60 mph. It was almost midnight and we had been driving for over 5 hours. we were exhausted and just wanted to get home quickly. Not a great idea, I know.We were returning back to Jersey city after visiting the Niagara falls(which was stunningly beautiful btw). My sister and her boyfriend took turns driving but my sister was the one who got pulled over.
My sister and her boyfriend were sitting in the front of the car and I was at the back. So I have seen and heard enough about how scary and dangerous it could be for - lets just say people of color when they get pulled over by a cop.I just woke up from a nap. We were in the highways dead of the night with no one around. Naturally I was worried. The cop was sweet enough I guess. My sister was speeding for sure and was freaking out about the points already on her license and how this could mean she could lose her license and go through this again.
He came over and my sister told me do not make sudden movements, don't say anything, don't reach for anything. I was at the back, my sister rolled down the windows and the cop leaned over. She answered his questions and my boyfriend was also trying to explain and say sorry and stuff. He asked for the license which was in the dashboard. My sister said its in the dashboard and was making sure the office knew where her hands were the whole time. Her boyfriend however, reached into the dashboard with no warning whatsoever to the cop. I was at the back and I could see the cop reaching for his gun from my window. It wasnt visible to my sister or her boyfriend and I freaked.
Thank God my sister saw her boyfriend and explained to the cop that the license is in the dashboard and that's what he was reaching for .Her bf quickly pulled out the license and the insurance papers. I saw the cop relax his hand from his holster. He went back, checked the license ,gave us a ticket, a warning and drove away.
I can't imagine what could have happened if the cop didnt keep his cool and if he thought my sister's bf was reaching for something else. Have heard too many such trigger stories that didn't have a great ending. Genuinely scared the crap out of me.
HA! I have a catalogue of these, but I think the best is definitely this one that happened to me recently. Most of it was from my own doing, but a lot of it was down to bad luck as well. I was traveling to Seychelles - in case you aren't aware, Seychelles gives you a tourist permit on arrival, provided you have pre-booked accommodation. I'd an Airbnb booking, but the guys at immigration refused to acknowledge it. The situation got to a point of potential deportation, but I somehow managed to wriggle out of it.
You can read the whole story here - Seychelles Immigration - A Backpacker's Nightmare | Nomadic Lives
The scariest part though, was that I handed over my passport to an acquaintance in Seychelles who agreed to help me out with my immigration woes. However, 3 days before I was supposed to fly back home, the guy disappeared without a trace WITH my passport. I still remember showing up at his family owned supermarket, the day before my departure, and his father chastising me for trusting his pothead son with my passport. I literally shat my pants, but decided to check at the immigration office anyway. Fortunately, I was able to convince them to hand over the passport with a valid tourist permit to me without a receipt - which is required by protocol.
One for the grand-kids this one (if I ever have kids, that is) HA
Two of such moments.
One, when I was robbed of all my belongings from a car in the middle of New York, left with what I was wearing. Luckily my passport & money were on my person, though tickets were in my bag.
Two, I was traveling from London to Brussels and doing so by bus-and-boat. In Kent, I got on to the wrong boat, one going to France, not Belgium. I did not have a France visa and thought I would be either jailed or deported. There was no one at the immigration counter in Calais, so I escaped there. Got on to a bus for Brussels, but was worried stiff about the France-Belgium border controls. Never saw one, and at dawn I was safely in Brussels.
My first time getting stranded in a foreign country was really scary, I missed my flight and my visa had just expired. Luckily that day there was a connecting flight that was to come later at night and I was able to get a seat. Being my first time in a new country it was really scary but now, with the unpredictability of African airlines I am no longer too worried about it unless I am connecting.