So we considered a lot of factors before we decided to move here. Air quality. Schools. General quality of life. Food. Ease of travel to other places. Cost of living. Transportation.
No, we didn’t have a set list. We didn’t tick the boxes. These were just general concerns swirling around in our heads.
This was definitely on the list.
We knew that KL wasn’t high on violent crimes like murder and other scary stuff.
It is, however, very high on purse snatchings. Usually from a motorcycle attacking a pedestrian. Generally a woman. By herself or with young kids.
(Also a problem: motorcycles smashing out car windows to grab things on the passenger seat. Like while you are driving and stuck in traffic. Scary.)
In the end, we obviously decided that the pros outweighed the cons and here we are.
Our neighborhood seems to have a particularly high number of purse snatchings.
It seems to be a combination of factors. Even though I can see the Petronas Towers and other skyscrapers from my window, our neighborhood is quieter. More residential. This means that you can sometimes be the only person walking down the street. This means that sometimes there might not be other traffic on the road. It is pretty much the opposite of safety in numbers.
Also, our ‘hood is dripping with Embassies. It could be that snatchers think good targets are walking the streets. I dunno.
I know of at least two incidents that happened here last week. On my street. In broad daylight.
As I’ve talked to others here, the stories come out. It happened to me. It happened to my friend. These aren’t far removed stories of somebody knowing somebody who was a victim. It happened to me. It happened to my friend.
The other day I was walking a quarter mile to the store, and I swear a motorcycle slowed down behind me. I’m walking with my head on a swivel, and when I stared at him he kept going. My heart skipped about 10 beats.
This makes me scared. Terrified.
This isn’t like a stealthy pickpocketing where you are bummed that you are out cash and have to call the credit card company. This is something violent and violating.
This makes me mad. Steaming mad.
I don’t want to be scared to walk down my own street. I don’t want to feel like I can’t do the things I want to do.
I already carry a small bag. I don’t want to have to deal with paring down even more and carrying multiple bags and having stealthy wallets and all sorts of things that will probably help, but won’t make me feel 100% safe.
Mostly, this really makes me sad.
I hate that my first thought is to view people with suspicion. I don’t think I walk around like a total Pollyanna, but I like to think that we’re all just doing the best we can in the world. Now I’m guarded. Closed. Not open to interaction with people. I don’t like it.
But this is the way it is. We all have things we don’t like about where we live. I guess this is just the way it is.
I don’t want to worry any family back home. I’m being extra careful. I’ve ordered a money belt. I’m accepting that being in cars is more normal. That it is OK and best to Uber to a location just around the corner. We’re watching out and trying to be smart.
But it makes me scared and sad and upset. It’s a bummer.