What would happen to me if I suddenly appeared in the following countries/regions?

I have a few hypothetical scenarios I often ponder when I’m busy doing nothing of any importance… such as now. Here are the three that come to mind…

What would likely happen if I suddenly turned up in the following countries. I don’t mean appeared out of thin air like magic - but I found a way in, and had a plausible reason for being there - like staying with a friend, or something equally legit. Lets say that I had on my person, absolute clear undeniable proof that I am who I say I am. For the sake of argument, lets say this proof is possible - whatever it is.

By the way - I am an average looking Caucasian, mid 30’s, pretty socially savvy and non religious.

The countries/regions are…

A) ISIS controlled part of Iraq or Syria

Would I be held prisoner immediately? Would they question me then kick me out of the country once they could verify who I was? Would I eventually become a subject of a particularly violent movie? Would I be able to integrate and carry on doing whatever I’m doing as long as I don’t break any rules?

B) The most ghetto/no-go area of a US city (worst part of Detroit or that LA suburb in the movie ‘Training Day’ for example)

Would my appearance bring trouble to me? If I kept my head down and was polite and courteous at all times, would I remain free of trouble? If I walked down an absolutely ‘no-go’ street at night and acted like it was totally normal, would I be ok?

C) A heavily cartel controlled Mexican town/city

As I have no link to their industry/underworld, would I stay safe? Would my appearance and accent assume I had some value and would be worth being kidnapped and held to ransom by various other criminals?

I’m just after opinions really.

Has anyone lived or passed through such areas before? How does one keep their head down and avoid hassle? Is it even possible?

Thanks :slight_smile:

A) ISIS Iraq/Syria - captured immediately, convert or die

B) Detroit ghetto - appearance draws looks but you duck into the nearest store and request help, and you don’t risk consequences of walking “no-go” street at night although you’d probably be safe if only once.

C) cartel-controlled Mexican city (Juarez) -
“When you’re lost in the rain in Juarez
And it’s Eastertime too
And your gravity fails
And negativity don’t pull you through
Don’t put on any airs
When you’re down on Rue Morgue Avenue
They got some hungry women there
And they really make a mess outta you.”

I think you’d likely be fine in the US ghetto, barring an unlucky “wrong place wrong time” situation. You might get a few looks or offered drugs for sale. But if you act like you know where you are going and you belong there, you probably won’t attract much notice.

At the very worst, people will assume you are there to buy drugs or otherwise conduct business. But more likely, you’ll just be a part of the urban landscape.

Oh come on, it’s already a hypothetical, might as well just take the TARDIS. You only live once.

ISIS? Immediate hostage.

Ghetto? Probably fine. Just don’t do it again.

Cartel? Maybe 10% chance of kidnapping.

ISIS: immediately in a world of shit.
Gheto: probably nothing. I spent a lot of time in the sketchiest parts of DC when it was murder capital of the US (long story, friends with a crack addict). I survived.
Cartel: you might get kidnapped, or told to get out of Dodge because they think you’re a narco.

It would largely depend on two things:

a) how good you are at keeping your mouth shut

b) whether you’re carousing around in sleazy parts of town in the middle of the night with people you just met…

In ISIS contraolled territory it would be your accent that gives you away not your looks.

I agree, although this makes me think of the Velvet Underground:

Hey, white boy, what you doin’ uptown?
Hey, white boy, you chasin’ our women around?
Oh pardon me sir, it’s the furthest from my mind
I’m just lookin’ for a dear, dear friend of mine
I’m waiting for my man

Are you a man or a woman?

i doubt whether there’s much carousing in ISIS territory (over-indulgence in sherbet, maybe?) – but presumably, the other two categories are essentially what’s being thought of here !

Happy to be proven wrong, but I assume you don’t really get the first option. You’re too valuable as a captive for either cash (if your country plays that way) or propaganda (if not.)

On a similar note, if you’re a white Anglo guy who wants to join ISIS, how do you convince them to a) believe you and b) not just take you hostage anyway? Don’t need answer fast.

The countries/regions are…

A) ISIS controlled part of Iraq or Syria

If ISIS faithful get you you’re done. You’re going to be roasted in a cage. If natives come upon you, you may have a chance.

B) The most ghetto/no-go area of a US city (worst part of Detroit or that LA suburb in the movie ‘Training Day’ for example)

You’d be fine as long as you don’t do or say anything stupid or inciting and keep away from any street crowds, esp. street groups of young males and females. "You do need to maintain a resolute “I know where I’m going” appearance as you walk.

C) A heavily cartel controlled Mexican town/city

Same as the ghetto. Just keep moving with purpose. Get off the street ASAP.

D) Fire Island New York

You will be butt napped and forced to serve canapés in short shorts for older, very tanned men. You will be forced to quote the lyrics from “Rent” on demand.

E) Salt Lake City Utah

Men with black pants, white shirts and badges will pursue you and want to talk with you for long stretches of time. There is no escape.

F) Lancaster County PA

You will be shunned and shunned again. You will be power shunned.