This is a bit of a warning for anyone travelling through Tanzania, Africa, or anywhere for that matter. It is the short version of how I was befriended, trapped and robbed.
I was travelling by myself in Tanzania and arrived in Dar es Salaam. On the first night a guy sat down at the same table in a busy cafe and ate some food. We chatted for about an hour. He left.
The next day I ran into him again in the street. Quick chat and goodbye.
In the afternoon I ran into him again and he said he and his brother were going to listen to some live music. It was 3pm so I thought why not.
I went to the bar (Leaders Bar) via public transport. Soon afterwards, he said that he and his brother were going to another bar and did I want a lift. By this time I thought they were Ok, so I said yes. [big mistake here] After a short drive they pulled over after a club and the brother said that he was going to light a joint. He offered me some but I said no.
Suddenly, three guys came from out of nowhere and came to the car. One of them started saying that we were in possession of drugs. I was freaked out and tried to get out of the car. One of the guys was in a (probably fake) police uniform. They pushed me back into the car and drove off (why the driver would just start driving???)
The main dude was yelling at me telling me that I was going to go to gaol/jail and that I'd pay a $2,000US fine. He then said that we could sort stuff out now. I knew he wanted money.
I had a strong impression that they were fake and that my 'friends' were involved in a scam but I realised that I was now in a car with 5 guys and that I was in no position to call their bluff. I started pulling bits and pieces of money out until they were satisfied that they had enough. They let me out and I got a bus home thinking what they hell did I just get myself into. I got away with my passport, credit cards, camera, phone, some money and my health (apart from a fair bit of sweat and some mental anguish), but I considered myself pretty lucky. It could of been much worse.
Anyway, it is a bit of a warning again. I'm sure you've heard it before. I certainly don't think you should never trust people, but you should be careful and do it in super safe environments, but I really found out how environments can change in the blink of an eye. I had lots of great conversations and experiences by trusting people in my travels and got screwed over this once. I think it was worth it, but it is a difficult one. If I was hurt then it wouldn't have been.