A common question among those of us considering an expat life is what is the level of crime I might be expected to deal with in my host country. As important as that question might be, I find it almost impossible to find an adequate answer. It’s easy to find statistics and even easier to find opinions about the relative levels of crime and how serious the problem might or might not be. On one end of the information spectrum we see the alarmists and worriers while the other extreme are the laid back and care free. How can we really evaluate the existing risk against the chances we are willing to take?
Taken singularly, the opinions, experiences and statistics are meaningless. So we put them into context using our own life experience, which leads to an infinite number of “answers” to the question. Context, for me, is the sum of what I’ve seen, learned and lived through. That experience shows me that, more important than statistics or learned opinions, it is the attitude and general outlook on life that really guide us and determine whether or not we can be happy living in a foreign culture using a foreign language.
It’s not so much about whether or not you will be a victim, but how you handle the possibility, and ultimately how you will deal with it if you are.
This morning I read a poignant illustration of that sort of fear and victimhood I wanted to share. It’s a short story of one victim’s experience and her dealing with it.
Kaley Kalil is a young traveler, a Nomad, who is currently living in Quito and thoughtfully posting photos and writing about her experiences in Ecuador, both good and bad.
Here’s a tease about her petit crime experience:
This morning, as I was washing my face in the sink, I looked down and saw my hands. I mean really saw them. They were certainly my hands, but they looked different, wiser, more experienced. I noticed a change had come over me since the last time I saw my hands.