one of the things i found vastly different about zed was their concept of danger. one of my first nights in auckland i walked to a concert a little ways from my house. i left at around 10pm and didn’t get home until after 2am. and while i was very vigilant on my walk home – constantly looking around, keeping in the light and within sight of groups of people – i never felt particularly unsafe.

months and months later someone warned me that k-road, the street i had walked down to get to the concert – was perilously dangerous. S and i had a good laugh. we’ve both seen and been in places where the cops actually carry guns.

sounds funny…i know…because in the US we call men in uniforms without guns security guards…not police. but in zed they don’t. i discussed this with my dad when it came to my attention and he pointed out to me that gun-less-ness is a very real situation for a lot of cops around the world. he mentioned england and how for years and years it was all about the billy club.


that got me to thinking about all the places i’ve lived and visited. and it dawned on me that my reality – even in travel – is skewed. houston has guns. south africa definitely had guns. kenya had guns. i don’t recall about china…don’t remember seeing a cop. guatemala either…though given their rather recent civil war issues i’d be surprised if they didn’t. all that to say my violence radar – like most americans i’d guess – has been heightened for so long it doesn’t feel high anymore.

talk about drastic changes though…from zed to NO. it is interesting the things the mind and spirit get adjusted to. or maybe we just tolerate and don’t recognize the difference. i can’t believe the folks in baghdad or sudan are used to it…at least i hope not.

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