Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Crime, Sun Tzu and Green Mambas

People constantly ask me how on earth we could move from Norway to South Africa… and looking at me like I’m cuckoo, in delusion and not 100%. To which I can mention countless arguments… but of course there are pros… and cons! One of the cons is of course security and the crime issues here… and I assume the reason that people think we’re mad.

For seven years I’ve come here on vacation, and of course seen the high walls, the barking dogs and the “armed response” signs on the gates. I’ve seen the headlines in the newspapers. Still we have not been scared off, at least not enough to not settle down here. Once you are here though, the same stories and headlines have more effect on you. Always in the back of your mind…

Relatively, we have spent more money on housing and finding the right area with security than we would have bothered with in Norway. I’m comparing apples and pears, I know, but still! Then we’ve carried on living and felt safe and comfortable. All the stories have been about “other people”, living in less secure areas or something to that effect. I’ve been in denial - denying for myself the fact that this happens right under my own nose… but to “others”, not me!

Right before we moved from Johannesburg, Fourways (Lonehill Village Estate), there was a woman in the complex that was traumatized after thieves had broken in, threatened her and locked her up and who knows what else. The day I delivered the keys, a security guard was held at gunpoint and needed psychological treatment… Maybe “Fort Knox” wasn’t that safe after all?

Now we’ve moved to a micro-complex here in Pretoria… and security wise left more to ourselves. Considering the area and the high walls with electric fencing, we’ve felt pretty safe and comfortable. The first few days the alarm went off 3-4 times, but we knew that it was just a tree that caused it and needed a trim. For 3 months now it’s been no problem. Suddenly, Friday night at 2 o’clock in the morning, the alarm goes off! The whole family is alarmed and we are scouting out of the windows. Eventually, the father in the house, has to go out and check… and turn off the alarm. Before switching off the alarm though, I walk down to the gate armed with my diving knife that looks like a Rambo knife. Can’t see anything in the dark, so eventually I turn the alarm off and we all go back to bed.

After a thorough check on Monday morning though, we find that the electric fence was actually cut right next to the gate. Clean cut with a tool! This is in a corner towards the neighbor’s property, and I was standing right there that night… The neighbor’s wall was just for show in ancient times, and not meant to keep anybody out. With no particular effort, you can climb up that wall and face only a 40-50cm electric hurdle over to our property.

I’m talking to the armed security guards who are patrolling our area, and telling them what’s happened. “This wall is useless”; he is saying about the neighbor’s wall. Actually, it is very “useful” I’m telling them, but for the thieves! “Stairs, a ladder… or a wall like this makes no difference”! The guards are laughing at me. Are these guys to be trusted? Maybe they are bringing in some extra cash during the nights, and now finding the perfect loopholes with my aid?! How stupid can I be!! I should learn to trust nobody here I think…

“Why the hell did they cut the wire, when they could just jump over the fence?!” I’m thinking. They were either non confrontational, or stupid! Non confrontational thieves have no business in South Africa, which could only confirm once again Pablo’s second ape theory in my mind! They were just too bloody stupid to understand how easy it was… but blew it with their lack of IQ, thank god! Or were they just checking out the security measures, the alarm system and the guy with the Rambo knife… only to come back when we are comfortable and naively ignorant again?! Hmmm, which is it??? Brainers or not???

I’ve been pondering again lately… what if it happens again, brainers or not?! You can always have 911 on a speed dial… but with all the stories I’ve heard I shouldn’t count too much on the police. Now I’ve got those patrolling security guards on a speed dial… but thinking maybe we should sign up with one of these security companies also… for us privately! I still don’t feel satisfied…

Maybe I should get a weapon for self defense?! Not a gun… that would be too much of hassle with permits and stuff. As a diver I’ve wanted to get a harpoon gun. A diver with a passion for spear fishing should of course have a decent harpoon gun. If not a harpoon gun, then a cross bow! It would be silent and painful... and give the thieves a valuable lesson…hehe! As a kid I was playing with bow and arrow and dipping the arrows in adder venom like the pygmies in my Phantom magazines. I caught the adders in the woods… played with them and kept them as pets… and combined my two hobbies you might say. Nothing “of significance” fell prey to my lethal arrows back then, but maybe I should look for some mambas and pick it up again?! I know a place around the corner where mambas grow on treesThis is war, and I know my art of war! Sun Tzu says; “Know your enemy”. The thief comes to me, not the other way around, and there are millions of thieves around so it’s hard to provide sufficient intelligence for little me. I could at least make sure I see them before they see me in the dark of the night! I will get some night vision binoculars like the ones that Hannibal Lecter used in Silence of the Lambs… Hannibal Lecter, Navy Seals and Jonny!

Sun Tzu further says; “Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance”! I will let him over the wall… let him come closer and watch his arrogance grow. Peace of cake he’ll think… just before my mamba arrow hits his bum. Quickly I will change position and fire from another angle and aim for buttock number two. He’ll think there is an army on his tail. The mamba arrows will burn worse than yesterday's extra hot peri peri chicken from Nandos, and he will beg me to let him go! Reluctantly I will release him and let him pass the word around… and sleep like a baby!

Harpoon gun or cross bow? Eenie meenie miney moe…


beaverboosh said...

Gutten sin,
Thoroughly comprehensive well thought out tactics. Given you have discounted firearms, I will not recommend Hunter S. Thompson's tactics, barring unknowingly plying the would be assailants with hallucinogens! Might I recommend a preview of the film classis Caddy Shack. The tactics of the green keeper, played by Bill Murray, and clearly a fan of Sun Tzu, to keep out unwanted visitors may inspire!
Best of luck,
Din venn,

Inu said...

OH Shit.... Now it's pre-meditated if the cops read your blog.....but on the other hand, which self respecting crook is gonna report that he was shot in the bum by a Viking while trying to burgle houses in Pretoria...hehe! who would believe him anyway?