It was not a good start of the month. My fiance’s work vehicle got broken into on July 1st, Canada Day. The selfish culprit(s) took his laptop bag, which contained the work laptop and his passport (yes, the passport should not have been there, and it was a grave mistake). My fiance was very shocked by the event. It could have happened to anyone else but the thing is, he did his best to secure the laptop in the car. He secured it with a security cable and hid the whole bag under the car seat. Unfortunately, they managed to cut the cable. Apparently, this was a first for the police too. The thieves were definitely prepared with the right tools.
My poor love. He was all confused and upset about the incident. He questions his luck with car break-ins. He has had two incidents now within a span of 3 years. Risk of theft is always higher in metropolitan cities. The day after the incident, he asked me if it was the correct decision to live in Houston, a place where people constantly live in fear. Is it a healthy feeling to have all the time? Is it a good environment to raise children in?
I have to admit that to grow up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is to learn to live in fear; fear of losing security and safety. I recall Mum’s constant nags on proper techniques to hold a handbag and carry cash when going outdoors. She had this brilliant idea that keeping loose change (cash) in the pockets will reduce the risk of having your wallet stolen. Apparently, there have been many cases where wallets have been snatched while women take them out of their handbag to pay for something. Avoiding sling bags is another big one too.
Park in an area where there are lots of people.
Lock the car doors while waiting for Dad to finish fueling the car at the gas station (and then remember to unlock the cars to let Dad in).
Do not answer the doorbell if we are alone at home (unless we were expecting some company).
Do not leave anything valuable (in sight or not) in the car.
Carry only cellphone and cash in the pocket (no handbags) when going to the night market.
… and the list goes on.
I do agree, it is a more stressful environment. But somehow you just get used to it, and I rather let my children be exposed to some of this fear than to not have it at all. Yes, we all want to protect our children and give them the happiest memories. But I do think that with the experiences and fear I’ve gone through, I am able to survive the emotional damage much better.
One lady friend that I know was so depressed when her handbag got stolen from the trunk of her car. She was so unhappy that she decided to move away from the city. She prefers the farm life, where it is carefree and no need to live in fear. They don’t have to lock their doors. People are friendly and nice. Well, if it is that detrimental to her emotional health, by all means do so. I believe running away isn’t the solution. The world is constantly growing at a fast pace. In time, if things go out of control … it’s going to happen anywhere one way or another.
Red Deer was a nice, safe town to live in. But for me, it was extremely boring and lacked a sense of character. Perhaps, it is a great place to raise a family. For me, I was itching to escape every weekend. I guess once you have family, you tend to sacrifice a lot of other things in life. I think I would jump on the plane right away if my family was in need and move back to KL.
Of course, so far I’ve only been talking about theft. If the risk is higher such that safety is at stake, that would be a different outcome. I’m sure people will run to save their families’ lives.
As for the stolen laptop … it is not replaceable. The passport can be renewed. The damage has been done. My fiance is safe and sound. Life goes on.