I had fallen into a false sense of security. I have ignored what has been going on around me and tried to focus on my day to day living. Unfortunately the reality of living here in South Africa hit me a few days ago. My actions both scared and embarrassed me.
After doing a marathon run of shopping in a local shopping mall, I was making my way towards my car with Wee One in the pram, packets hanging off the handles and my car keys in my hand. As I approached my car I noticed a gentleman leaning against a car near mine, talking on his cellphone. I looked around and not one security guard was in sight. My breath caught in my throat and I felt extremely uneasy. I walked in the opposite direction and then made my way back to my car. He was still there, just leaning on the car.
If you are reading this in another country you may say, “So what?” I would agree with you but in light of current events in our province, shopping malls have become prime targets for hijackings, and me, with my shopping and baby would be a soft target as my back would be turned as I strapped Wee One into his car seat. It is like I have been conditioned by circumstance to constantly be vigilant and question situations that appear out of the ordinary.
I walked away again and found a security guard who I asked to please accompany me to my car as I unpacked my shopping, folded up the pram and put Wee One into his car seat. I was honest and told him that there was no security guards in the section where I had parked and I was scared of hijacking.
Driving away from the shopping mall I felt both scared and ashamed. Scared because I may have been right in my assumption. I believe that one must listen to your inner voice and mine was screaming at me. Scared at my own actions, at what I have become. I was also ashamed as that gentleman could have been waiting at his car for his wife to return from doing her shopping and who was I to view him as a potential hijacker?
Living in South Africa has made me extremely risk adverse, suspicious and distrusting. I am SAFA-rised and I am sorry.