Although being here in Costa Rica is like a dream it is not all sunshine and roses, just like any other place in the world it can be a little dangerous. Since I have been here there have been a series of thefts or attempted thefts, specifically in San Jose. Now and then my friends and I like to go to the clubs to dance and have fun !
We were told that the area where we liked to party was relatively dangerous and we experienced that danger first hand the first night we were there. Our 2nd Thursday in Costa Rica we went to a club called Escape and that night my friend Grace got her phone stolen; even though she kept her phone at her hip it was still exposed. We looked for a long time in hopes of finding it on the ground, but in all honesty it was gone the moment it left her jeans. It was an extremely sad night, but there was nothing we could do.
We did not learn our lesson there we continued to go to this club and others like it. On the biggest party weekend at the end of April we found ourselves at the same club once again. This time it was our male friend, Aidan, who got robbed. He thinks that when someone bumped into him they reached into his pocket and stole his wallet, but it was so packed and noisy that it was impossible to really find who took it. In his wallet he had his credit cards and even his visa card which he had only gotten 48 hours prior to this night. Stealing in San Jose did not stop there.
In May students from Butler University, Grace’s home campus, came to Costa Rica for a school program. They met us at the same club we regularly go to on a regular Thursday night and had 3 of their phones stolen. At this point it was not surprising. Each time I thought these students were targeted because of how Gringo (“American”) they looked, which I still think is true, making me think that I or any other person of color was not a target. However, that mentality has recently changed.
This past weekend, my last weekend here, my friend Zenith and I were going to the club (a different club than the one previously mentioned) on a Sunday during the day because we had left our jackets in the club the previous Saturday night. We took a bus that we had taken multiple times to a bus stop that we knew very well.
Zenith had her phone out to look for directions to the club. Not even half a block from the bus stop a man reached over our shoulders and snatched her phone out. We froze for a millisecond and immediately started to chase after him (I know crazy). Thankfully people around noticed and a few men began to chase him as well. A man who was down the block in the direction we were running through his bag at the robber.
The robber than noticed that he was being chased by 4 men and us. He dropped Zenith’s phone, but Zenith did not realize and kept running after him as did the 4 men. I confirmed that it was Zenith’s phone and immediately yelled at her to come back. We were extremely grateful for these helpful strangers, but this could have gone extremely bad. Luckily for us, we were safe, she had her phone and we got our jackets. This was a really scary experience and needless to say I am 100% ready to go home !