Saturday, May 10, 2008

Safe and Secure with the Door Wide Open

Our compound Security DID do what they promised to do - I don't know if they camped out in my driveway or not - but there were no further incidents with rocks or toilet paper being thrown in our pool. I'm going to make brownies or cupcakes or something to take to Security for next weekend. I am really quite appreciative of their services - for all intents and purposes, I think they try very, very hard to do a good job under incredibly trying circumstances - even though I may not always see things quite "their" way [i.e., stopping the little worker on his scooter when he'd done absolutely NOTHING wrong], but... Today I will go talk to whoever I need to to find out if I can get a security system put in around the back yard to "guard" the pool.

Last night, I was sitting outside talking on the phone, and once again, I had "visitors." There's a three foot cement block wall that is attached to our privacy wall which is actually the wall surrounding our driveway. And one of the neighbor's maids will stand on the wall and then lift the kids up so they can see over the privacy wall. Hello?!? There's a reason it is called a "privacy" wall! Honestly, WTF is wrong with some people? What, just because we are "Westerner's" and living in a house which is completely surrounded by a wall which isn't quite the "norm" from where we come from we're not entitled to privacy? No. You are going to have your picture taken for Security the next time you stand on that wall to see over my wall. I don't care how much fun it sounds like my Kids are having - it is NONE of YOUR business! Unbelievable. Before we had the security wall "heightened," we had an entire family standing in their windows looking in to our yard if we were out there. Now, because the wall is too high for you to see over, you're standing on the back wall to see over and in? Geez!

Although I do bitch and complain a lot about living here, there is also much that I can't and won't complain about. Yesterday DH went to play golf and forgot to shut the garage door. The garage faces the street - and from the back, inside our fenced in yard - you can't see that the garage door is wide open. The garage is full of crap. We have never parked our truck in the garage - it won't fit until the garage gets cleaned out - and that's a project that just isn't quite getting accomplished. I've started cleaning it a half dozen times and basically what happens is that a box gets moved from one shelf to the floor and then something else gets moved from somewhere else to take the spot the box had on a shelf. But in actuality, nothing really gets cleaned or taken care of. Truly the project - cleaning the garage - is one that overwhelms me and I can come up with two-hundred and thirty-eight things I would rather do instead, and another six hundred and eleven excuses for not attacking the garage - it's too hot, my knee hurts, I need help lifting something...

All day yesterday the garage door was wide open - an invitation for anyone to go in and help themselves to whatever they might want - coolers, tools, cans of paint, bicycles - one of which has flat tires, that I've not used ONCE since we got here, and that has to be at least thirty years old and worth nothing - and one that cost $1,500.00 when it was new ten years ago - both are still sitting there. There's an old rocker that has NEVER been used [why didn't someone help themselves to it? please!]. There is a double-size futon that is rolled up and wrapped in black plastic - and hasn't been used in over fifteen years - I have no idea why we thought we even had to move it over here. We've got a couple butcher-block TV trays out there that I trip over regularly - you know - the little folding tables that you pull up in front of you on the couch to eat off of - I think when we lived in North Carolina we used them twice [whoever wants to take those - feel free to help yourself!]. We've got a half dozen different size coolers out there, duffel bags and old suitcases, tires, boxes of "stuff" which I have no idea what they contain, but obviously whatever is in them - we don't need it. Yes, the garage is full of junk that needs to either be put on the curb or sold at a yard sale. There are also lots of expensive tools and other various "garagy" things out there that we do need or want.

The point is, though, that the garage door was open ALL DAY and NO ONE touched anything! I can't think of ANY place that we've ever lived where you could be so trusting. Would things have disappeared from our garage if this had happened in Durham, North Carolina? In a skinny second! [The garage would have been cleaned out. Problem solved.] I know people here who leave their doors unlocked all the time and again, where in the States can you do that anymore? Security here, really does take things like theft quite seriously. A couple of months ago there was a rash of burglaries - kids were breaking into houses looking for booze - and would help themselves to laptop computers, jewelry, televisions and stereos, etc. Security caught the culprits - I don't know all the details and the entire story - but the eight teenagers who were involved, who, by the way were NOT "locals," were given twenty-four hours to leave The Kingdom. Gone. Exit-only visas. They will not be returning. No second chances, no molly-coddling, no excuses. Bye-bye. Instances such as that do serve as prime examples of what can and will happen, and likely deter the same from happening again. Does such swift justice happen like that in the States? Hell no.

This truly is a community where if your three year old happens to be outside playing you don't have to worry if you're not right there watching him or her that some pervert is going to come along and snatch your kid. Not that I'd so trusting as to let my three year old go out and play unsupervised, but you could if you wanted to... And, even though I had to endure two nights of "neighborly vandalism," for the most part the Security on our compound is definitely worthy of some praise because there were no rocks OR toilet paper in my pool this morning! I'm still going to see about having the wall raised even higher, and I still want surveillance cameras installed, but at least I don't have to worry about junk being stolen out of a garage that's been left open all day long!

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