Monday, November 15, 2010
Danger in Rio
Danger in Rio is a fact of life. It happens just like dog poop on the street and samba music. It's a big enough topic that both Daily Life in Rio and Becoming Brazilian have both discussed it, along with numerous others I'm sure.
So what are we scared of? I can't speak for all of you but I have my Rio de Janeiro fears.
I am afraid of getting carjacked by gun point. When I drive, I'm usually alone with both my kids. How would I get them both out of the car in time enough to not piss off the crazy guy with the gun?? What if he drove off with one or both of my kids? I find no way around this fear. I drive where I'm familiar. I leave space to turn around, when possible. I keep the windows up and the door locked. Short of a bullet proof car, which I'm not willing to pay the R$50,000 I don't have to buy one, what can you do?
My other fear is a random gun fight while on the street. It's not that common but can happen. I do have contingency plans. Yes, I'm that bad. I would run into a building with my boys and take cover. That or roll with them under a car. Yeah, I'm paranoid sometimes. It happens when you have little ones! It's like two pieces of my soul cruising the streets. I worry.
The next is even more ridiculous but not at the same time. I'm from the states where fire drills are done everywhere! The firemen used to bring a fake house to the school, fill it with smoke, and train us kids how to get out correctly. Annually! Imagine the shock of the head of my oldest's first daycare when I asked them their plan in case of fire. They had like 200 kids smooshed into a three story house! Fire hazard much! Her answer, get them out. I just looked at her, dumbfounded, until I realized that was it.
People, it wasn't just the school. I think the same way about buildings. Where are the alarms? I brought alarms from the US when I was pregnant with my first. I was like super safety lady. My husband's thing is that the buildings are made of concrete, it won't burn down the whole thing. This did not make me feel better. But my alarms were taken down the first time the maid fried some chicken. There just is no way to do it. It's like hanging an alarm above a camp fire in the woods, just doesn't work.
So what did I do? I dealt with it until it was absorbed like cheap baby oil on my kid's toosh. What can you do? I live here and every place has their flaws. You can't head out on the street in bullet proof vests with fire extinguishers in your pocket. In an ideal world, I'd become a ninja. I've thought about it but it's just not in the cards. I'm already 30 and really not that flexible. I think my face kick would hit them in the jugular... could work though. I would love to be able to Alias someone's ass! Not only would it be effective, my ass would look great after all the training!
What fears do you guys have in your cities?