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Raileurope.com: See Europe by train
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Old 04-16-2004, 11:57 AM   #1
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Hey!
So I leave in almost 2 weeks for Portugal and I'm starting to REALLY really get the pre-travel jitters. I am nervous about everything from fighting with my bestfriend and travel-mate, to not knowing where to go with my time.
But to narrow it down to one topic of concern... I am worried about my safety. Everyone has told me that I have to be more cautious than most because I am a 4'11" (yeah I'm tiny alright) female with a vulnerable smile ( I just can't help it). I'm also travelling with another female, who is less than naive and really not concerned with our safety at all (don't tell her i said that ) . I'm doing a lot of things like research and stuff on how to be safe, like for example, my boyfriend is buying me a fake wedding ring to help ward-off the horny men. He also recently bought me (and this is a little embarrassing), a door stop. Not just any door stop, oh no. This door stop is to be placed behind your hostel door, and when turned on will sound a blasting alarm (120decibals! ) to make the dude go running if one tries to open my hostel door. The thing is sensitized so that as soon as the door goes over it, it will go off( I just know I'm going to forget its there when I go to the bathroom in the middle of the night!) Have yo guys ever heard of this??! Anyways, if anyone has any tips to make little ol' me (and my bo) feel better I'd appreciate it. As well, I feel responsible for both me and my friend's safety as both our families know I'm going to be the one "in charge". She just isn't concerned and i'm afraid that if I try to tell her to be she'll think i'm either preaching to her or that I am too tense and she'll worry about me not having a good time (which is not the case). For example, she's told me that she wants to mostly be drunk the entire time. In contrast, I have chosen not to drink (well of course ill have a couple, but no more than that!) beacuse I know you make bad decisions and are way more vulnerable to manipulation. As well I don't want to go stumbling down the street at 4am to find our hostel, wheras she might think of that as an adventure . BUT I can't tell her that that is my plan because she would be SO dissappointed!! I dunno, its a complex issue.

But Phewww... I feel better just letting that out!
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Old 04-16-2004, 04:18 PM   #2
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is pepper spray illeagal? cause that works, naa but serious, if ur confident and walk tall (or as tall as u can get ) u'll be fine
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Old 04-16-2004, 08:23 PM   #3
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If you don't want your friend to know you aren't drinking as much as her, place the order, and get yourself something that LOOKS alcoholic, but isn't, in the glass it would be if it were. Ex:
double water on the rocks in a highball glass
sprite in whatever glass they put a G&T in

I can't think of one that works for beer, other than nursing your first one reallllllllly slow.
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Old 04-18-2004, 12:40 PM   #4
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Dress down like you're poor and try to appear as unattractive as possible? Infrequent showering can help this.
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Old 04-18-2004, 01:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by phlipfudge23@Apr 17 2004, 03:23 AM
I can't think of one that works for beer, other than nursing your first one reallllllllly slow.
ice tea
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Old 04-18-2004, 02:48 PM   #6
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Don't wear expensive jewllery, and cover up a bit where clothes are concerned. Don't walk off with anyone on your own, make sure your always in more or less quite a public place. And don't get totally off your head on drink or drugs. Basically, it's just common sense really.

But, Portugal is quite a busy place. And when I went there, I never felt that I was in a situtaion where it could have been dangerous. I felt quite safe actually.
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Old 04-18-2004, 03:12 PM   #7
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don't worry, at 4'11" nobody will be able to see you! j/k.....sorry
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Old 04-18-2004, 06:47 PM   #8
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Thanks guys, I appreciate the tips.
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Old 04-19-2004, 03:47 PM   #9
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nice! i'm 4' 9.5". small, japanese, with a friendly smile just saying "take advantage of me!!!" i know how you feel. i'm going to be in france staying with family friends (old ppl). and it looks like i'm gonna be all by myself when i go into the city. forget nights i think. if i don't have a buddy, i don't think i'll find any decent ppl at bars or clubs. why??? dammit. i'll figure something out... how do normal sized ppl meet other cool ppl? it's like i get attacked by predators before i get a chance to meet normal cool ppl. grrrrrrr... at least you have other girlfriends.
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Old 04-19-2004, 05:13 PM   #10
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If your staying with family friends, ask if they know anyone about yor age, (chances are their friends have childeren) to take you out for a night on the town. That way your hosts know who your with so u should be reasonably safe.
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Old 04-20-2004, 04:49 PM   #11
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When are you going to be in France windsey?
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Old 04-21-2004, 05:11 PM   #12
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charv,

It's great that you are thinking of safety, and yes you should be a little more careful because your a female.

But my suggestion to you is don't think to much of what can go wrong in your trip or may I say your journey. Think positive on how great your trip is going to be, and you can't wait to see something new you have never seeing before.

If you think that way trust me everything will work out great.
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Old 04-26-2004, 07:01 AM   #13
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Hey there! Europe is not anymore dangerous than the US or any other modern country. Just be confident inside regardless of how you think you may be perceived on the outside, and use common sense. Don't place yourself in danger, but small or not, female or not, you have the right to travel freely and safely, and IT CAN BE DONE!
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Old 04-27-2004, 09:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Carisia@Apr 26 2004, 02:01 PM
Europe is not anymore dangerous than the US or any other modern country.
In fact, it's actually far less dangerous. There are always some relatively shady sides of town - but nothing like the full-blown inner-city ghettoes we have here in nearly every major city!
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Old 04-27-2004, 10:55 AM   #15
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not as many guns either
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Mountains are the means, the man is the end. The goal is not to reach the tops of mountains, but to improve the man.
- Walter Bonatti, Italian climber.

Past Trip Albums:
Norway '05 Album


"'Kings. What a good idea.'Whoever had created humanity had left in a major design flaw. It was its tenedency to bend at the knees."
- Terry Prachett
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Old 05-04-2004, 11:48 AM   #16
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hey charv, I'm 5'2 and actually there were plenty of people in France and Spain who were about the same. I doubt you'll have any problems strictly because of your gender and height! In five weeks of traveling through six countries I never felt that my safety was threatened. You'll be fine, just use common sense and have a blast! B)
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Old 08-13-2004, 09:08 AM   #17
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Being a female travelling in Europe right now I'd have to say that people who are obviously concerned with their safety are more of a target than those who are confident, take the usual precautions and have a "don't even try to mess with me attitude" I still feel safe in Europe and I recently had an incident in Spain which I feel is a very rare occasion.
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