25. Being Cautious in a Big City


A: Is there anything special I need to think about as I tour this city?

B: You need to keep in mind that this is a very poor country. Things are a little more desperate here than you are used to.

A: What do I need to look for?

B: Be particularly vigilant anytime you are in a crowded place with other tourists. Pickpockets know that tourists aren't paying all that much attention.

A: I have seen many children on the street begging, so what do I do about them?

B: It is best not to give money to children or other beggars on the street, as they can swarm you. You can give money to a local charity.

A: Should I be concerned about what I eat or drink?

B: Do not drink any water that isn't bottled. Avoid street vendor food.

A: How about being out on the street at night?

B: I would take a cab to your destination at night. Don't walk down the street alone.


A: This city is much larger than the one I live in, and I wonder if there is anything special that I need to keep in mind.

B: Crime can happen anywhere, but it is a little worse here because of the poverty.

A: Should I be vigilant about anything in particular?

B: The train stations, airports, and tourist sites are favorite spots for pickpockets.

A: When I see children on the street begging, what amount should I give them?

B: I wouldn't suggest giving money to them. Most of them are put out there by adults who then take their money.

A: Can I eat or drink anything I want to?

B: Do not use tap water at all, not even to brush your teeth. Only eat fruit that has been peeled.

A: Can I walk around and see the sights at night?

B: I would be sure to travel in a group at night. Stay in well-lit areas.


A: Do I need to take any special safety precautions in this city?

B: This is a very large city with a lot of crowds to work your way through. Keep in mind that poverty makes people a little more desperate.

A: What should I watch out for?

B: You have to pay special attention at train stations, airports, and tourist sites. They are known for having a lot of pickpockets.

A: There are so many children begging on the street that I don't know which ones to give money to.

B: It is a natural instinct to want to give money to those children, but it is better to give money to one of the local charities or schools.

A: Are the local food and drink safe?

B: Avoid eating food prepared by street vendors. Use only bottled water.

A: How safe is it to be out at night?

B: You should always travel with others at night and stick to well-lit areas.

Practice the Conversations of This Topic with Mike