- a hole-y ghost
- May 10, 2010
Perhaps you can draw some good advice from the heartwarming true story of a Bitcoin community member.
*I made a new account to segregate it from my identifiable one.*
This story happened to me during the summer of 2012. I was a 23 year old French developer who just got out of engineering school. I had found a job at a large German automotive company, and was expected to start working in September in Munich.
For the last few months, I had been talking on IRC with a Brazilian girl, my age, named Maria-Teresa. She was studying arts at the UFPA university in Belém, and planned to go to Europe the year after to visit historical sites in Italy, Greece and France. We were flirting a little during those chat sessions, and she invited me to come and visit her during her two weeks vacation in July. Her family lived in Pracuúba, a small town in the Northernmost province of Brazil.
I happened to have bought 2000€ worth of bitcoins in February after I earned my first salary as an intern, which amounted to a bit more than 600 BTC at this time. I didn't have enough money in my bank account alone to pay for the plane tickets, so I sold back 250 BTC for 1500€ to cover the rest.
The flights went well, even though it was a bit long to go from Paris to São Paulo, from São Paulo to Belém, from Belém to Macapá, and from Macapá to Porto Grande. From there I took a bus to Pracuúba, and I arrived there around 9PM, 38 hours after having left Paris. Despite it being the winter there, it was much hoter than under Paris summer.
Pracuúba could not be more different from what I had expected. In France, many small towns with less than 1000 inhabitants have a very lively and vivid village life. With its 2500 registered inhabitants, Pracuúba was pretty much a ghost town, with nobody to be seen around. Maybe I should have checked Wikipedia more carefully, I would have noticed that the population density was around one person per square mile. When you realize that the average household size is 6 people, you can imagine that houses can be far away from each other.
Fortunately, a cellular network was available, and I could reach Maria-Teresa. She explained to me that she was not sure I was really coming, and that his brother would come and give me a ride to their place.
Half an hour later, an antic pickup truck arrived with a thirty something man behind the wheel. He stopped the car abruptly just in front of me, and when I went to open the passenger door, he just showed me the rear cargo area. I was quite surprised, but climbed into it and we left on the dirty roads. 10 miles later, I was already covered in dust when we stopped before a medium size wooden house. I jumped off the car and followed the driver inside.
In the main room, dimly lit, four people were seated. Maria-Teresa was one of them and she greeted me with a big hug, and introduced me to her parents, to her 15 year old sister Manuela, and to her brother, my driver, João Paulo. The introduction lasted only a short instant because none of them spoke French or English, and I did not know a word of Portuguese.
Right after, while I was hoping to get offered something to eat, the father uttered some order and Maria-Teresa explained to me that they were all going to bed. The parents went into their room, while I wondered if the four of us had to fit in the bunk bed that I could see in a corner of the room.
Maria-Teresa told me that when she comes back during her vacation, she uses to sleep with Manuela in the lower bed while João Paulo sleeps in the upper one. However, since I was here, we would share the lower bed while Manuela would join her brother.
I asked about the bathroom. Maria-Teresa told me that it was located in their parents room and that I would have to go outside or wait until the morning. I went out and peed on a tree 100 feet away. When I came back, the light had been switched off, but with the pale moon light coming through the window I was able to distinguish a nude muscular male body as João Paulo was washing himself from the kitchen sink while the sisters talked together.
Maria-Teresa told me I could freshen up if I wished. I waited until the brother, apparently still nude, climbed into his bed, and I went to the sink. From there, the rest of the room looked pitch black, and I decided not to care and undressed completely. I used a towel from my luggage to clean myself up, trying to water half of it while keeping the other half dry.
As I put on some boxer shorts, the younger sister came to the sink and started undressing as if I was not there. The partial obscurity did not hide the fact that she was wearing nothing but her dress, and she was done washing before I went to my luggage to store my dirty laundry. She then climbed into the upper bed, and I could hear her talk briefly to her brother.
I put myself under the sheets while Maria-Teresa went to the sink. As everyone, she proceeded to get naked, although she was wearing underwear, and I watched her while getting anxious about what would happen next. I was relieved when I saw her pick up a shirt long enough to cover her intimate parts. Life in the city may have made her more prude than the rest of her family.
She joined me into the bed, and for the first time since I arrived we could talk, while trying not to disturb her siblings. She asked me how the trip went, she told me she was happy I could come, and that she should have warned me that there weren't really any nightlife in her parents place. She promised to show me around the next morning and wished me good night.
Thanks to the jet lag, I slept very well. I woke up by the sound of the bed ladder; the brother was getting up, naked, with a morning erection he did not try to hide. He started making coffee, when Maria-Teresa opened her eyes. She said something to him, to which he responded. I asked her what she just said, and she had ensured that there would be enough coffee for me too.
Manuela then went down her bed. This time, I had a good look at her while she climbed done. She had small breasts, the hair covering her sex was very sparse and dark. She took her dress and went into her parents room. When she came back a minute later, she had put the dress on, and João Paulo, still half erect, dressed as well and poured the coffee into four cups.
Maria-Teresa got up. Still lying in the bed, I could not help looking under her shirt as she did so. This was the first time I had a glimpse at a real shaved sex. I only had had one sexual encounter at this time, and I can still remember the pubic hair getting in my way. This reinforced my morning wood, and I was wondering how I would get up when she told me to get up and eat my breakfast. I asked when her parents would wake up, and she told me that they already left when the sun rose to go sell their fruits to the market. Relieved, I reached to my luggage, got a pant and a shirt, and went to the bathroom with my clothes in front of me trying to cover my erection.
At this stage, I was very lost. I had come from France to the middle of nowhere to meet a girl I didn't know, and had landed into a family whose customs were unknown to me. Was it appropriate to look at each other while naked? Was it appropriate to be naked? Would it be possible to get involved in a romantic relationship with Maria-Teresa? I decided that I could not do anything about it but talk with Marie-Teresa when we get a chance, and went back to the main room. The bananas and another fruit I could not name were delicious.
João Paulo brought us to the city. The two sisters and I climbed into the cargo area, and Maria-Teresa told me there would be many people there because of the market. When we arrived, eight merchants, including her two parents, were selling fruits and vegetables to a dozen of customers. Also, the community center was open, and after a 20 minute wait I was able to access the only computer connected to the Internet. It was using an antique version of Internet Explorer, but it was enough to send a short mail to family to assure them that everything was ok, even though I had to use the HTML only version of gmail.
Maria-Teresa took me for a walk around the village. We seemed to be getting along, and she took my hand. We spent most of the day talking about her studies, my job, her being anxious to get to Europe. We had lunch in a tiny house where a woman talking loudly was cooking, and Maria-Teresa payed for both of us. We walked for the rest of the afternoon, resting from time to time under the shadow of a tree, getting a little bit closer from each other, then we walked back to the city.
On the path, João Paulo was waiting for us. He started to yell at Maria-Teresa, and they fought for more than 10 minutes, with me trying to ask Maria-Teresa what was happening. We went back to the car where Manuela was waiting, and during the ride back she explained that her brother had always acted jealous towards her and that he made a scene because we spent too much time alone together.
The night meal was pleasant, with her mother trying to communicate with me. Maria-Teresa spent the diner translating as much as possible while eating, and her father showed me on a map the countries where he would have wanted to go: Portugal, Angola, Cap-Vert. The mother then did the dishes while the father smoked a hand-made cigar, and it was time to go to sleep again.
However, Maria-Teresa told me that there would be a small change of accommodations. Her brother did not want her to sleep in the same bed as me any longer, so I was to sleep near her sister instead if it was ok with me. I was disappointed because I had hoped we could chat some more, but I convinced myself that this was not a big deal and that tomorrow was another day.
João Paulo turned off the light, the room went dim as the night before, and he undressed, washed, and got to bed. It was then my turn, and after freshening up, I put clean boxer shorts and went to bed. Maria-Teresa put a shirt, and waited for her sister to finish washing. When Manuela came to the bed, still naked, Maria-Teresa talked to her and they got into an argument. I seemed to understand that Maria-Teresa told her to wear something while Manuela pretexted that she had no shirt around, showing the parents room where the closet was with her hand. Maria-Teresa seemed to have the last word, in that she climbed into the upper bed, giving me once again a clear view of her intimacy, and she threw the shirt she was wearing to her sister.
Manuela took the shirt, put in on, and went into the bed on my side. After less than a minute, I felt her move as she was getting rid of the shirt, which she wasn't used to wear while sleeping apparently.
I spent an horrible night. While I was not interested in Manuela at all, I could not help having a giant erection imagining her nude behind my back. Every time I moved a little, the shorts over my dick were making me even more excited. I could feel the bed shake lightly, and I could not tell whether one of the siblings was masturbating, maybe ten centimeters away from me, or if I was myself slowly making the bed move by rubbing my shorts against the bed.
At this point, my only priority was not to come, as I would have been very embarrassed if that happened. I did the only thing I could think of, I put my shorts off, throw them onto the ground over Manuela, removed the sheet off myself and Manuela, and lied onto my back so that nothing touches my erect dick anymore. Manuela, who was either not sleeping or got woken up, turned around and looked at me, then at my dick. She did not look surprised nor shocked, and she simply closed her eyes, lying naked on her back.
I could finally get to sleep, but woke up in the middle of the night and tried to assess the current situation. While sleeping, Manuela had turned towards me and on her tummy, her head looking away from me. Her right hand lied on my leg, my flaccid sex touching her arm. My own hand was trapped under her body, and I could feel her public hair on the back of my hand. I got an instant erection, which had the immediate and beneficial side effect of separating my sex from her arm, and started to slowly withdraw my hand from under her. As I did so, I felt the back of my middle finger going on top of her labia, and probably her clitoris. Finally, I managed to pull my hand completely, and confirmed what I felt by smelling my finger.
This was too much for me. Since everyone was sleeping, I started to masturbate very slowly to prevent the bed from moving. It looks like I was not discreet enough as Manuela turned her body towards me as I was nearing the end. I had planned to contain my ejaculation with my other hand, but seeing her looking at me was such as surprise that I ended up ejaculating all over my chest and also over hers. It was so powerful a feeling that I could not let it go and gave it a few more strikes while looking at her stupidly.
Without a word, or even a strange look, she got up and turned the sink faucet on to water a towel. She cleaned up herself while walking back to the bed, then handed me the towel. I cleaned myself while she looked at me doing it, then she brought the towel back. Maria-Teresa asked her something and she answered, then went back to bed. Without a smile, without an angry look, she closed her eyes while turned towards me and my still erect member.
I woke up the next morning when Manuela got out of bed. Her parents, fully dressed, were silently seated at the table and looking into our direction. As the day before, she took her dress from the floor and walked to the parents bedroom, while I unsuccessfully looked for the sheet to cover myself. As Maria-Teresa climbed off the ladder, I forced myself not to look too long to their shaved pussy, even though it looked like the parents would not care. As she was picking up the shirt to cover herself, she noticed that I was naked myself and let the shirt go. She came to me and kissed me hello, and said that she feared that I was shocked by their nudity and that she is happy that I'm not, because it is much too hot to sleep with clothes.
I did not know what to answer, especially when I didn't know what her sister would tell or not. Apparently, she did not tell much before we went out for a ride to the river with the parents and both sisters, and we spent an excellent day. Marie-Teresa, Manuela, and I, spent most of the day bathing nude in the river, while the parents seated around. Some physical contacts gave me light erections, but nobody seemed to care.
I was starting to feel that this was a very good trip, until we got home. João Paulo was waiting for us, visibly angry, with a towel in hand. I recognized it immediately. It was the towel Manuela and I used to clean ourselves during the night. He smelled the towel, shouted something at Manuela who shouted something back and started to sob. He threw the towel to Maria-Teresa, who also smelled it, and then she turned to me. I knew it could not be good.
She asked me how her sister towel could smell like sperm. She told me that her sister was a virgin, and that I had dishonored her family, and that now I have to marry Manuela. I tried to explain that I did not sleep with her sister, that I had never even touched her, but apparently she did not believe me, nor were her parents for whom she translated what I said. I explained that I had an accident and that I used the towel to clear it up, but she started yelling at me saying that she did not believe me.
Then the unexpected happened. The mother shouted an order to Manuela, who got undressed, still sobbing, and climbed onto the kitchen table, legs spread out. The mother then went to check that her daughter was still a virgin. The father, still saying nothing, also checked when the mother called him, then the brother, then Maria-Teresa.
Maria-Teresa seemed to calm down a little, then explained to me that I could not be trusted. I had to go, now. The father, apparently understanding the conversation, came to me and pushed me to the door. I shouted that I needed my suitcase, with my papers, my plane tickets, and my clothes, but Maria-Teresa yelled at me and told me that I must go. Now.
This is how I ended up walking in the direction of the city. I reached it in the middle of the night, and slept in front of the community center, hoping that nothing would happen to me until the sun rose. The operator found me seated at the door when he arrived. He was a rather nice guy who spoke a few English words. I asked him where I could do a Western Union transfer, he had never heard of it. I looked it up on the Internet, and it appears that there is no way to do a money transfer in this deserted area.
I sent a mail to my parents asking them for advice, but it was the middle of the night in France, so I was stuck here, and I wanted to move before the family comes to town and tells everybody what happened, as I didn't want an angry mob against me. So it struck me: French Guiana, a province of France, was only 200 miles away. If I could go there, I could probably get money transferred to me much more easily, and I could probably arrange a flight back to Paris.
I was able to install an IRC client on the community center computer, and talk with some strangers located in Cayenne, the prefecture of French Guiana. They all told me that I was out of luck for two reasons: I had no chance to be able to travel with no money, and I had no chance to be able to cross the border without papers, since they fight very hard against illegal immigration. One guy contacted me privately, and told me that he knew someone who could help me reach French Guiana, but that this necessitated money. I proposed to initiate a international money wire and to have him trust me that it will arrive, but he answered that not only he didn't know me and could not trust me, but also that he didn't want to let a financial trail.
Then it struck me: bitcoins. I told him to wait, while I checked how much the 350 BTC I still had were worth. I could have cried when I looked at the exchange rate and saw that it was 7.28€/BTC, and that I had the equivalent of 2500€ (approximately $3300) to get out of this mess. I went back to the guy and asked him if he could accept 2500€ worth of bitcoins. He didn't know about it, and I tried to explain, but he was not interested. I asked him to wait again as I checked on another IRC channel if I could find someone interested in the transaction. One person, with a good online reputation, was willing to do it if I sent the bitcoins first, and could deliver 2000€ in cash to anyone in Cayenne. After negotiating a bit, I could setup the deal, send the bitcoins, and have the cash brought to the guy.
This was a real risk, as this could be a scam, and a bitcoin transaction cannot be reversed. Fortunately, both guys were honest, at least as far as our deal is concerned. Eight hours later, that I spent in the community center, a SUV came to pick me up. It happened that the guy was a French cop, apparently used to doing dirty jobs, and he was very nice. When we reached the border, he had me hide under a blanket, while he gave some cash to both the Brazilian and the French customs and police officers. We reached Cayenne in the middle of the night, and he dropped me in front of the main Cayenne police station. He explained to me that I had nothing to fear because even though I entered the country illegally, I had every right to be here as I was French.
Indeed, I told the police that I was visiting Brazil when I got mugged at gunpoint near the French Guiana border, and that someone I don't know anything about helped me cross the border. They checked my identity, made some temporary identity and travel documents so that I could board a plane to France, and directed me to a bank where I could get some emergency money transferred from my parents French bank account, at the cost of extravagant fees.
End of story, I was able to sleep in an hotel and take a plane two days later. When I came back to Paris, I told my parents that I had met a crazy family and that I got mugged and had no way to join them or the host family. I haven't told them about the bitcoins, I pretended later to have lost them all in a scam, but really: the bitcoins saved my life.
I love bitcoins.
**tl;dr found myself lost abroad in the middle of nowhere with nothing but an internet connection after a rather strange family story, and bitcoins probably saved my life**