At dinner over the weekend I met a person that had an interesting story about a small travel backpack, a corrupt official and a 4 wheel drive. After hearing the story and with permission from the story teller, I knew I had to share this with Lit Backpacks.
Karl is the name of the person who we enjoyed dinner with that evening, we had a conversation about traveling and the crazy predicaments we sometimes can find ourselves in. Karl’s story began in Manhattan where he spent all day gathering the things he wanted to take with him on his next trip.
A small travel backpack.
As Karl was shopping he noticed a hybrid pack designed for adventure travel. It was built for trail and travel, it had a hydration reservoir and stowable rain cover; It also came with a 15L mini pack for day trips, so with its overall excellent features, stunning color and numerous pockets Karl knew this was the piece he needed and wanted.
He bought what he needed for his trip then went back to Brooklyn to prepare for his journey. On the day he was scheduled to leave everything went fine, he got to the airport on time, caught his flight and arrived safely to his destination 15 hours later. Overall his trip was very smooth and pleasant, when he finally landed he meet with a contact that he had met on face book two weeks earlier. His contact’s name was Alex and he was very knowledgeable about the country and had agreed to show him around so everything was looking great in Karl’s mind.
This trip was going to be a short one, only 6 days, then Karl had planned to visit another country in the same region after that. After arriving at the hostel, Karl decided he wanted to visit some places with Alex to see some of the country. He removed his small travel backpack or as he called it his mini-pack, from the larger hybrid pack and he and Alex headed out for adventure and new experiences.
A corrupt official.
Before Karl left the hostel with Alex, he thought about what he wanted to take with him and what he wanted to leave behind. In his mini pack he put his camera, a note book and pen, the case to his shades with his shades inside and a bottle of water. He wanted to leave space just in case he saw something he could buy as a souvenir for his friends.
As they drove off the property of the hostel and into the street, Karl and Alex set out for their first destination, a day party/concert about 30 minutes away. The ride was long and bumpy in Karl’s mind, the vehicle was hot because there was no AC. About 20 minutes into the drive there was a check point but Karl thought it was routine so he didn’t worry.
Alex on the other hand seemed to be sweating and looking for a way to turn the car around but they couldn’t, the traffic did not allow for any u-turns at that moment. After noticing Alex’s reaction to the check point, Karl wondered why he was acting so strange. Karl didn’t know it at the time but Alex knew the officer in charge at the check point; apparently the officer had it in for Alex since Alex started to make a living off of being a personal tour guide to people he met on Face Book who wanted to visit his country. The officer also tried to be a tour guide but failed at convincing people to use his services so Alex was a target that officer would harass and bother when ever he saw him.
A 4 wheel drive.
The officer knew Alex’s vehicle so as Karl and Alex pulled up to the check point the officer smiled and asked Alex to pull the vehicle over to the side. Karl now starting to worry, asked Alex what was going on, Alex stated everything was cool and that he would handle it. As it turns out, the officer asked Alex and Karl to step out of the vehicle, they were then asked to produced Identification. While all of that was going on another officer started to search the car, all of this was shocking to Karl because he figured Alex had a reputation of being a good tour guide. He now wondered, was Alex up to illegal activities and was the police going to find something in the vehicle that would cause both of them to be arrested?
After searching the vehicle for what seemed like forever to Karl, Alex told Karl he needed to give the officer a few dollars or else they would continue to prolong the issue and maybe make things harder. Karl was upset and did not want to give the officers any money so he refused. To Alex’s surprise the officers did not retaliate, they allowed them to get back on the road and drive off.
Being prepared by planning ahead.
When they pulled off, Karl asked Alex what was all the commotion about, Alex laughed then explained the history he had with the officer. They noticed that one of the officers searched Karl’s mini pack as well. Karl didn’t realize at the time but he forgot that he had also put $100 in his mini pack but it was hidden in an obscure pocket on the side that the officer didn’t notice because Karl also realized the officer stole his shades out of the mini pack.
I believe Karl got Lucky in terms of not getting his money taken as well by the corrupt officer because he planned ahead by getting the right traveling gear. Even though that was a bad experience, it could have been worse Karl thought to himself. The rest of his stay was alright in his view, he even said that since he returned from his trip, he found out that the two officers were eventually fired for corruption, that’s good news.
Don’t sleep on the power of some good gear and good luck.
Altogether we had a great time talking about some of our crazy travel stories, we made a friend that night at dinner and we laugh and were merry. Even though I wouldn’t consider this a good travel story, it does highlight the excellent technology and skillful design that some of these backpacks possess and how they literally can save lives sometimes, because that could have been his last $100.