Federico Gomes de Brito’s interview, conducted by Benoit Demortier

Hi my friend! Introduce yourself!

My name is Federico Gomes de Brito. I am 28 years old and I spent 9 months in South America.

Tell us about your flop!

I was in Porto Alegre, in Brazil. I was with a friend from France just after the River Plate – Grêmio semi-final, we were drinking in a pub – not shabby one, just a normal bar – I gave my credit card to the waiter in order to pay and he disappeared with it. I waited for a minute, maybe a little more. I was chatting with my friend and did not realize the time had gone by so quickly!  He came back with a credit card machine, I digited my pin code and he gave me back my credit card with the ticket. Nothing special about that.

Normality.

The next day, my friend went back to France and I took a bus to go to Iguazu. I didn’t understand right away that I got hacked. Payments are usually processed by La Société Générale (my bank) three or four days later. I tried to get some cash, but my card was rejected, I checked my account, nothing to report, I still had cash. I didn’t worry. From Iguazu, I took a bus to Rosario. I arrived in Rosario. I no longer had cash, I wanted to get money from the cash machine and once again, it didn’t work. I was a bit worried and logged in my bank account: I could read: withdrawals in USA, withdrawals of 600$, others of 700$, some in Disneyland!

What? The guy had a good time with his kids!

Total panic: I called my bank. I put pressure on them: « How is that possible? Do you understand I’m in Brazil and that payments are made in USA? Do you recognize that there is a problem out there? » My banker agreed and accepted to refund in the 2 coming weeks. But the bank had also to send me a new credit card.

In Brazil? Oulala! Not a good sign!

If only you knew, Man! I requested a delivery in Buenos Aires. As it’s the capital city, I thought it was the fastest and safest way. It was my next destination. I chose an express delivery (3 working days – 50 euros,). My brother received the credit card at home, and then, sent it from France to Buenos Aires. I took 2 weeks.

2 weeks?

Yes. The new card went first through the United States. I tracked it on the post office website. It had been blocked several days in Miami. When I received the package, it was opened but that’s ok, I was pretty sure this was due to the customs check in the USA. Then, in Buenos Aires I had to queue for 5 hours to get my package which had been delivered in an office specialized in foreign expeditions.

But you had no other credit card?

I had an N26 credit card but I broke it two weeks before leaving. I cracked it. I grasped the occasion and asked my brother to send me the Société Générale card and the N26 card in the same package. My trip wasn’t finished, you can never be too careful! 

How did you to manage to live without money in Rosario?

I asked a friend that I had met in the youth hostel, to lend me some money. He paid for my room and my food. He helped me a lot. Once again, thank you bro! I refunded him a few weeks later.

And how did you live without credit card in Buenos Aires for two weeks?

I asked twice my brother to send me a Western Union money transfer. It’s working well! And the fees are not that high.

 

How did you feel when you realized you had been hacked?

Panic attack, big stress. Obviously, I first thought this was putting an end of my trip. Finally, the banker quickly reassured me regarding the refund. And I knew that I could count on my brother.

Did you enjoy your trip in Rosario?

Not really, I felt like I was a looser: « I don’t have money! I can’t do activities! I can’t go in nightclub… »

Any lessons of this flop?

Always bring two credit cards because it’s a nightmare to receive a package from France when you are abroad … And, don’t panic! Banks refund when you are hacked. And because of this flop, I stayed two weeks in a crazy youth hostel: THE BUNK! If you go to Buenos Aires, book a room there. It’s incredible! I had a lot of fun and met incredible people. It’s amazing! Thanks to this flop I met you guys: Benoit and Carlito. And then, we have travelled together for 3 months. The life is amazing, doesn’t?

Last question? Is the legend of Rosario true?

Pfff! Man! It’s an open museum! There are pretty women everywhere. This town gave me a headache! Argentina gave me a headache! Trust me, you’ll find Latino hotties everywhere in Argentina!

Congratulations, it’s a great Flop!

test