Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

Tucson and I are on the outs again.

It seems like every time I start to feel like maybe Tucson and I could really get along, something like this (or this) happens. To be honest, I'm used to hearing about stuff like that happening in the south part of town (sorry, friends who live down there). And yes, I realize how sad it is that I could ever be "used" to hearing about people being beaten and robbed in their own homes by armed thugs.

Today, though, it got even worse: our alert neighbor passed on an email from another woman who lives nearby, and it seems that there have been two similar home invasions in our general area of town the past two nights. The first one happened, and the police assumed it was drug-related. (Side note: am I a terrible person if I admit to being relieved when I hear that violent crime is connected to the bad lifestyle choices of the victims? It probably does, but it also makes me feel a tiny bit safer. However, please don't draw any shocking conclusions from these statements about women or rape, because that is absolutely not what I'm talking about here.)

Then there was another home invasion last night, so nobody is sure what exactly is going on, except, of course, for the people who are doing these terrible things. Still, there are a few things about the incidents that don't really make sense. For example, the email account says that one of the victims (a man) "answered the door and was confronted with 3 armed men in ski masks." Um, if three men in ski masks ring your doorbell, don't answer the door. Also, it says the men "proceeded to take everything that was at hand, said they did not want to hurt anyone, asked for drugs, and left." I can just imagine it: "Well, now that we've taken your money and valuables, do you happen to have any drugs on hand? No? Oh well, just thought I'd check."

I just can't handle the prospect of not feeling safe in my own neighborhood. It's enough to make me want to stay inside all day, every day, unless Jeremy is home to escort me everywhere. But what kind of life would that be? So I'll continue on as I always have, being absurdly vigilant even to the point that if I pull out of our street and see a car that was previously parked on the shoulder of the road turn onto the street after me, I'll go back to make sure that it wasn't just waiting for me to leave so they could break into our house.

In my more dramatic moments, it's enough to make me want to live in the Middle East forever. I know our affinity for that region of the world puzzles and possibly terrifies many of you, but really, what is there to be afraid of? In what way is a possible act of terrorism or war more dangerous than three masked men breaking into someone's home with guns?

I wish I could do my chores in peace

The running, it has begun