la paz - san francisco plaza, la paz
Arrived at La Paz at 7:00am, May 14th 2000. San Francisco Plaza is the tourist center in La Paz. Paying respect to the altitude, I walked as if I got Parkinson disease. Two minutes after I came out from my hotel I met a man who claimed to be a policeman (with a phony police ID). He asked me for passport. I refused. Then he stopped a pedestrian (probably his friend) and asked him for his passport. He wanted to show me that it was a very common practice for police to check people's passport in La Paz. And he insisted that he was a very genuine police, so genuine that he even claimed that he was Inter Pol. I laugh. I told him I was from FBI, and formerly working for KGB. He wanted me to go into a taxi with him (of course, prearranged). I showed him my middle finger. That was the happy ending.
Later I heard it was a very common scam in La Paz. Two girls from Switzerland had followed the man to the taxi and got robbed (nothing left, not even the money belt).
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