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Fear at Night in Honduras


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Long day. Border crossings always are. We arrived in La Ceiba, Honduras, after dark and had a frightening experience with a cab driver. When we got into the cab we established the price was 25 lempiras, but he misunderstood where we were going and ended up driving us further than he had originally thought (but only by a few minutes). When we tried to pay him, he insisted we owed him over 300 lempiras. In disbelief, we offered 40 as a compromise, which he threw at our feet in outrage. He was still shouting angrily when we scrambled away. I felt sure he was going to run after us and punch us in the head from behind (leftover trauma from when I was attacked in San Francisco?) or that he was going to run us down with his cab and shoot us in the back. Every cab I saw after that sent me into a panic. If not him, then one of his friends? The streets were deserted except for a few sinister-looking characters who followed us with their eyes. Venturing out for food after we found our hotel, we spotted a comedor selling fried chicken. The proprietor (or just worker?) was the most indifferent, surliest person we have yet encountered in Latin America. While deciding whether and how to order (since the worker helped us not in the least), we watched three men begin attacking a fourth man about 20 feet away. At that point I insisted we return to the hotel, though we were both starving.

I still irrationally fear the taxi driver will send friends to the ferry pier tomorrow morning to give us a good beating. We asked him for ferry times when we still thought he was a friendly man. We will be easy to spot: the only two chinos at the terminal. Of course now in the dim CFL-lit comfort of our hotel room, my fear seems more than a little ludicrous. Still, I will feel much better when we're in Roatan.

Posted by chschen 16:00 Archived in Honduras

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