Losing my identity
I thought I would have to change my way of life completely when we moved to South Africa, having read the tourist books and from information from the media, well meaning family and friends and South Africans living in the UK, here follows the advice I was given:
1. Do not carry a handbag, keep 1 credit card and mobile phone in trouser pocket and carry a dummy wallet to hand over if mugged.
2. Don’t wear Jewellery out in public, you will be targeted even if it’s only ‘costume’
3. Never stop at a red light...no one does, you will be car jacked
4. Don’t drive alone and never at night
5. You cannot walk anywhere
And here’s the truth
1. Everyone carries a handbag
2. Everyone wears jewellery
3. You MUST stop at red lights
4. I’m in and out of the house in the car all day
5. I have walked from the house to the mall and back, from mall to shopping centre
South Africa is like the UK in so many ways. There are certain parts of Birmingham I avoid, or if I have to go there I take great car, put all valuables in the boot and keep to the main areas. Have you ever been to Moss side? Have you ever been to a local Derby. I for won’t will never go to a game between Birmingham City and Aston Villa again. I have and I won’t be choosing to go there again. You have to be street wise everywhere you go in the world. Do what the locals do and if you’re not sure about something just ask.
There are a few places I won’t be going here, I’m not comfortable when driving past townships, I certainly wouldn’t stop there and ask for directions and yes I am wary at the Robots, leaving a gap between me and the car in front so if necessary I can get away quickly, it’s just common sense really. However I’m driving a hire car, ‘the best car in the world’ May. James, Top Gear, at the moment and will be staying away from the cars involved in carjacking..for example I won’t be buying a 3 series BMW in black as I will make myself a target.
I’m not going to new places on my own either...Dan has soccer trials with TUKS tonight in Pretoria. Peter is coming with me this evening and tomorrow I will drive there alone, if I don’t feel safe with the location then we will find another club for him to play with...again, common sense.