I've frequently tried to describe to my American friends what it's like to visit the really run-down, seedy parts of the Third World. Many of them accuse me of making up my descriptions, because "nothing could be that bad!" Others simply can't visualize it, and admit that.
I came across this article at Outback Medicine the other day, which gives ample warning to Americans visiting Haiti what they're likely to find there. I can attest from lengthy and bitter personal experience that precisely the same conditions (sometimes even worse) may also be found in other Third World hell-holes. At any rate, it's good to have another source that I can point out to my friends, and tell them, "See? I'm not the only one warning you!" Here's an excerpt.
All you have is what you take with you, and you better take a bunch of stuff, because the Customs Officers that hold you up on arrival will be there to rifle through your stuff and then call it their own – literally! They always rifle through your bags and take whatever they want, as their personal “fee” for your arrival (and hopeful passage) into their nice country! (I dare you to object -when they start doing this! And that look they give all Americans who do that is simply priceless, too, let me tell you!)
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If you get through this process with your bags intact, mostly, you will want to exit this “entry area” to their country fast! Do you know why? It’s because there are “bad men” standing around watching this whole process! They know what you’re doing down there, believe me, and they know you brought “stuff” with you…that they want! They are ready for your entry into their country, and you will be their next “meal ticket” if possible…so just know you WILL be followed as you leave this staging area, entering their crime-ridden country, without help from anybody around, most likely…which comes next! Watch out! (I’m not kidding about this, Mr. & Mrs. Clueless American missionary!)
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Take a trip to the airport bathroom (in pairs), and see if you can comprehend the paper posted signs behind most of the toilets, down here! It says: “If it’s brown, flush it down; if it’s yellow, let it mellow.” (They leave out the appropriate punctuation marks on all signs, other than some nasty comments about we American Tourists, of course.) No joke; you should be learning from everything that hits your eyes now. They want you to know “this isn’t America,” friends. ”You’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto!” The sign also informs you that they have a real water de-salination problem here; that too, you’re about to find out at your first watering hole, soon! (Better stick to the bottled water – if you can find such, down here.) Have you ever tasted “Salt Water Tea”? They have a real fine brand of it – like most Caribbean Islands in the 3rd World do. (Better pack that hand-held Katadyn Water Filter in your back pack; you know, the one you’ll NEVER let out of your sight while down here! Yeah, that’s the one.)
There's much more at the link - and it's all true. Read, and be warned!