Monday, 23 April 2012

No Fear

You'll pardon me if I'm not my normal, polite self, but I got very wet coming home, have a broken toe, and stepped in dog shit.

I subscribe to an expats group on Facebook and it has come to my attention that there have been several incidences of mugging on my local tram.  One incident was where I board the tram.  In most instances the tram drivers and the police have more or less shrugged.  In some they have been insulting and rude.  The most surprising thing is that the security cameras on the trams only record the driver.

I'm a city girl born and bred.  The countryside makes me nervous and I'm sure it's full of murderers and sex-criminals.  I lived in London for nearly 50 years and would like to think I'm careful and streetwise.  Only once in all that time did I have my purse nicked from my bag.

Moving here, I found a neighbourhood I love, which delights me to walk in, and trams that (when running)  still enchant me.  I know there is crime here, of course.   But the edgiest part of my day is the Roma kids on the Metro with an accordion doing a mash-up of The Anniversary Song and Sous Le Ciel De Paris, and then collecting paltry sums in a plastic cup.

I want to feel safe in my home, in my street, on my cute and annoying tram.  I do not want to live in a state of fear.  It makes me angry that I might have to.  It makes me angry that in my head I am preparing for the event as if it were inevitable.  I do not want to live in a state of fear.  

Also, if I may, consider the recent fatal attack on a bus supervisor here.  It resulted in a six day walk-out while the transport unions mourned their colleague and negotiated for more security on the buses, the trams, the metro.

For them.  Not for us.  As I mentioned above, the security cameras only record the driver.  So far I have not seen an increased police presence on any trams. 

This makes me incandescently angry.  Someone on Facebook suggested the public go on strike and not use transport until it's safe.  If only we could.


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