Sorry for the absence, I have been extremely tired and every time I had 5 min to spare, there was something else that needed to be fixed. I have 5-10 unfinished drafts in my phone but nothing I have been able to publish.

I want to talk about paranoia. I called the security on my new gardner this morning and I began to think – am I paranoid? Since when did I stop trusting my instincts and just take the short/aggressive way out?

When it comes to my child, my family, my home…well NO, I do not have any margins to be soft. And when a man stands right outside my garage door and looks at me (uncertain expression) when I drive V to the playschool in the morning…I react.

I give him a polite smile and show him “thx but no thx”, guessing he wants to sell something. Then I make sure the garage door closes properly. When driving away I check out the man in my mirror, he doesn’t move. I take one turn around the block to see if he has walked away – no, still there.

My first thought was, he looked friendly. But as he is standing outside MY house, on MY driveway – I don’t take any chances. I call ADT and ask them to check him out.

That is how my new gardner started his morning. A polite “No thx” from his new employer and a security check from ADT. Just because we mixed up the days, and because he stood a little bit to close to my door, pushing all my defensive buttons.

The truth is, I don’t write about everything that happens. I don’t write about my neighbours or friends being robbed or hijacked. I don’t because I think that it is a part of life in Joburg. Once you have gotten used to it, you find a way to live with it. No one, who doesn’t live here would understand. I’m not sure I understand…

When we first moved in to our house I thought – it looks like a prison. Now I think – I never want to live in a house without bars. I close my gates/bars at 07:00 every evening and then  I feel safe. Of curse you are never safe …but pretty safe.

At the moment the crime in Parkhurst (where we live), has gone up. Because of the restaurants, and a lot of cars, the car theft has increased. The trend in “house brake-ins” is to hold up your gardener while he is busy doing the outside lawn (outside your walls).

This is information that we get daily. I get emails/sms/watsap messages every day, about suspicious vehicles or people in the neighbourhood; a girl pretending she is in labour so you open the front door, a black ford involved in car theft reg nr xxx, a man claiming he is delivering a package, look out for a sliver toyota reg nr xxx involved in a house break in.

Every day my phone bibs and every day I keep my eyes open and try to identify weird behaviour. I have accepted these services, because I feel I can’t afford to ignore it. Yes it keeps me on my toes, and I question more or less everyone I meet. But if this could help me from getting into trouble, or more important, keep my family safe – it is a small price to pay.

I am not afraid of going out and I great everyone I meet with a friendly smile (as you do in SA) …but I must admit I’am a bit more paranoid.

Can you blame me?


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