'Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore'
That's how I feel when I leave Dubai and visit the UK.
In Dubai I can leave my engine running, hand my card over for 'tap' payment at the petrol pump without getting out the car and leave my bag, laptop and phone on the restaurant/cafe table while I go to the toilet. I can leave my door not only unlocked but on occasions open when we go out and not worry about anyone breaking in or having my car or personal items stolen.
I often visit Pretoria in South Africa. Life over there isn't particularly safe. My personal safety and that of my belongings is paramount, there's a risk of car jacking when sitting at the lights and junctions.
I've experienced theft in South Africa personally and the biggest risk I faced was an armed robbery at a place I volunteered in. I'd opted to stay and eat with a resident, rather than joining everyone else in the staff room where they were held and robbed at gun point.
I've also camped in a township, travelled solo around the Western cape and caught the Shosholoza Meyl train with one of the teens to Cape Town and have holidayed in Durban. Life is slightly different in Cape Town and Durban to the Gauteng region with little visible security.
I used to post often about life in South Africa during the 4 years we lived there and when I travelled to the UK, I felt safe. But having lived in Dubai for 4 years, I now realise when I return to the UK that the feeling I had in the UK was compared to life in South Africa and having been out of the country for almost 9 years now, that I should treat visits home as if I was visiting a new place and should take better care of my personal safety and belongings.
It was pointed out to us in a UK pub when we went to the bar that 'we're not in Kansas anymore' and shouldn't be leaving our personal belongings unattended.
I'm currently back in South Africa, I visit my friends once or twice a year. It's an automatic reaction to fall back into line with the security aspect now for me.
How safe is it where you live?