two scenario’s on the same day…’s what they’d call a ‘double whammy’….. maybe i was becoming too complacent…. maybe i needed to be reminded of a thing or two…..

scenario no. 1

lunch at the wellness centre with a friend…. two guys & a girl sit down next to us. they seemed quite distressed about something. we weren’t paying too much attention to them as we hadn’t seen each other in a while & were babbling away catching up when our conversation was stopped short by ‘they found him garrotted’ (!!!!????) which caught both of our attention. turns out someone in their building had been garrotted & robbed… i actually had to look up the word ‘garrotted’…. not one i’m familiar with. anyhow i can assure you it’s as awful as it sounds. we didn’t get any other details… i think we both quite blanked out then. we both left shortly after without discussing what we’d heard. i felt quite ill.

scenario no. 2

a very good friend of ours paid us a surprise visit from london. he hosts a dinner at the grand in camps bay. a more stunning view of the sunset is quite hard to come by…. along with the fabulous cocktails. the guests are ‘locals’ and bar us all over 60 years of age. wine starts flowing, food has just been ordered when the lady to my left, who lives in newlands, announces that just last week her neighbour was murdered….. strangled. i feel the blood start to drain from my face and a serious lightheadedness take over me. she obviously notices me turning a whiter shade of pale so then chips in…. ‘not to worry dear… she was a fool…. she opened the door to a stranger’……!!!!! well then, that definitely makes it all ok…… WTF!!!???? i think what made the scenario all the more frightening was the ease at which the story was told and even just the fact that it was passed off as suitable ‘dinner conversation’…. almost as if people here are sort of ‘numb’ to the reality of the situation. frightening on so many levels!

sure, i can hear the ‘naysayer’s’ already commenting that there is crime everywhere & yes, you are right. there is crime everywhere. but what’s lacking here is a distinct value for life. i have lived in many places and have met hundreds of people. i have dined at dinner tables all over the world and i am yet to ever hear someone talk so casually about a mugging let alone a murder & have it pass TWICE through my ears in one friggin day!!!!! i too have been the ‘victim’ of crime in london…. let’s see, i’ve had my purse stolen in soho, my bag nicked at a nightclub, even our house was once broken into…. but were our lives ever threatened, did we ever have a gun held to our heads, in fact out of all the hundreds (literally) of people we knew in london did any of them ever have their lives threatened…..NO!!! considering the percentage of person per capita in a tiny place like london filled with millions of people (14 million at any given time) it’s truly amazing how little ‘serious’ crime there is. and when there is a crime, the world & his dog knows about it as it is front page news until the perpetrators are caught. if you were to get stranded in the city in the middle of the night & had to walk all the way home, the chances are 95% you’d get home fine & dandy. if you had to get stranded in the middle of the night in this place…. i’d say a quick round of russian roulette would be a safer option!