Saturday, March 31, 2007

Prisoner at home

So... we moved to a quieter neighbourhood.
Lovely! What is everyone going on about - there's no reason to leave the country!
We were just starting to get used to safely going for walks in the evenings when... last week the bliss was shattered and the tension returned. Henk's scooter was stolen in broad day light in front of our house. (a story familiar to most South Africans)

I think I'm developing some sort of paranoia about crime/ chronic generalised PTSD - listen to this...

To prevent being totally home alone I invited friends over for dinner. It was lovely! After a few glasses of wine and the toll of the midnight bell they decided to head home. It was late but I couldn't sleep so I started to watch some brain numbing TV. Suddenly the stomach wrenching smell of puppy poo hit me. I was about to call him a bad dog when I noticed that he has also puked all over the lounge. My poor puppy had gone limp, was panting and had a white tongue. Panic!

Then...

As I was about to clean up the mess the lights suddenly went out!

PANIC!!

What is the first thing that goes through a crime-riddled South African's mind?
"Someone has poisoned my dog and cut my electricity, they know I'm in here and they plan to rob, rape and kill me!"

I found my cellphone in the dark and hid behind the couch . I was totally immobilised and trying very hard to think through the alcohol swimming in my head. There was no way I was going to leave my 'safe' spot to check what had happened to the electricity.

I called our trusty armed response (ADT) who were here in 5 min (we can't rely on the police anymore to attend to calls- they are too busy fighting crime that has already happened). This finally gave me the courage to check the electricity...

In a freak clash of events my electricity credits had run out and my dog had gotten sick from eating big dog's food which didn't agree with his tummy.

Isn't it shocking that we live with this pensive tension - expecting some sort of crime to happen.
I'm supposed to go to a party tonight but I'm scared shitless to leave the house and worse to return alone later.

Thank you to John from ADT for going the extra mile and helping me look for credits in the early hours of the morning!

6 Comments:

Blogger आशिष विमला said...

i thought south africa is a peaceful country. is there still tension b/w blacks and whites???

April 03, 2007

 
Blogger altheab said...

There is still some tension but the crime is not just between blacks and whites -its more between those who have and those who don't. It crosses cultural divides. There is still a very large proportion of the population living below the poverty line.

April 04, 2007

 
Blogger John said...

Hey Althea,

Scary story... luckely everything was to be explained by a logical reason. But even the thought of thinking the way you guys in SA need to think nowadays! Hopefully you will find some peace of mind in a while. As they say, time heals...

April 06, 2007

 
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