Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A gun to your head is not normal

My black male colleague had a gun to his head at 11am on Saturday morning at the Norwood ATM next to Nandoes. Broad busy daylight & he was being held up. He is still shaken. A woman in my street was held up by men who conducted battle maneuvers to get inside her garage, with her, her 2 children under 7, and her maid in the car. The man who leopard crawled under the gap of the garage door put a gun to her head, all to steal the few Rands in her wallet and her phone. Triggermap's story was the third crime story I heard about on Monday 26th February 2007, ie. yesterday.

Having a gun to your head it NOT NORMAL.

Nor should it be acceptable.

I wish to (again) put my two cents worth in about this whole crime situation in South Africa. (Well, more like R5 considering the length of today's post. Find some coffee.)

Dave put it well in one of his comments when he said that "Drop a frog in boiling water and it will jump straight out. Put a frog in water and then slowly continue increasing the temperature and it will stay in there until it has boiled to death. I use that analogy to describe why I think, as an expat who returns fairly regularly and keeps in touch with current affairs back home, I am entitled to say I believe standards have declined".

You do not know how bad (or good) you have it, until you take yourself out of the situation.

In 1999, I lived in America for six months. It was startling to go out and about in Boston, with the house left unlocked as we did not have a spare key for me. Or that staying at home alone did not even play a moment of havoc on my subconscious. The possibility of crime simply did not exist in this society.

In 2004 I headed off to a minute town in the south of France, and it was here that I really learnt how incredible life is, in a safe environment.

My first proper night out, wining it up heavily in a cafĂ©, I asked the Irish owner how wise it was to walk home on my female own hours later. Another one of the patrons was very confused as to why I was even asking. But the Irishman had lived in SA, and knew well where my question came from – my ingrained SA fear, weariness and caution. He told me it was completely and utterly safe, that I did not have a worry in the world. And so I did walk (stumble). And so I was safe.

There are some areas in SA where you could maybe stroll alone. But it is not wise. “Why even put yourself at that risk” we respond to our bravado. But there in France there was NO RISK. Imagine. It was not in the mindset, or the legal and police reaction, for criminals to chance it.

Rape was a horrific unthinkable unlikely concept there in France, rather than here where we know it is a possibility.

For several months of my life I WALKED home at ANY hour, by myself or with others, back and forth and across this town, and NEVER did I fear for being followed, having my possessions stolen, or being attacked. I lived in another paradigm.

The fear generated from crime, which South Africans subconsciously store in us to the point that we no longer realise it is not normal or healthy, was nowhere to be found in my head for months. My mind was free. Let alone my physical self.

Can you imagine?!?! Unless you have lived in that situation, I don’t think that you actually can.

One night I sat explaining to my American mate that I was choosing to leave all of this first world safety (ok, yes, there were visa issues too) to return to a place where I did accept that the possibility of rape or violent crime could be committed against me and my family, let alone simple daily (often unnecessarily violent) offences. Crazily I am choosing to live back in a state of fear, awareness, and weariness. I do fear rape. Attack. Being hi jacked. Being mugged or burgled. My possessions are not necessarily always going to be mine.

This is not fair. It as plain and simple as that.

Crime adds a negative restrictive element to our lives in SA.

It is a universal right to not have this. Sure, that right is an ideal, but if our government subscribes to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (let alone our constitution) then they have a responsibility to prioritise upholding their citizens’ rights to safety and freedom. This means we are allowed to demand this from our government.

Yes, South Africa is a developing country, not a developed country like France or the USA. But this means we are meant to be doing all we can to improve our nation, move it forward, to reach for First World standards. Crime is definitely holding us back. There are so many arguments claiming this. Therefore, our government as well as ourselves should be concerned in rectifying this as soon as possible.

And I do not believe all crime in this country is simply out of impoverished desperation. I can hear the rich organised criminal syndicates laughing at such statements of skirting politicians.
President Mbeki - why do you never open your mouth & say that we have a problem, that far too many of South Africa's people are living in fear, and that crime will be dealt with harshly?! Just at the very least acknowledge in what way all citizens seem to be equal - in our fear of where others' illegal activities will land us.

I could never deny that I love South Africa in so many ways. And that it is an incredible country. However, I fear that certain problems, unless forcefully met head on, will deteriorate its greatness.

And so I do not believe it is necessary to keep starting up initiatives to remind us of the incredible nature of our land and people. I think, rather, that more energy needs to go into figuring out how we can hold our government responsible, as well as fight against the mindset of lawlessness that is growing in this country. (Obviously, though, both types of initiatives can work side by side).

I seek means to solve this problem of crime. I hope to join in on the march on 10 March (thanks to efforts by VIRSA). I call for more policemen present and active, for the police to receive better salaries, and for them (and other civil servants!) to be dealt with harshly if they are found accepting bribes or intimidating the innocent. I hope to contribute to working against a land of lawlessness – No more driving through red robots. Not aiding corruption by slipping a cop a R100. Reporting crimes to the police to ensure their stats & reports are correct. Keeping up-to-date on developments, or lack thereof. Reading my community newspaper. Creating awareness. Applying the “broken window” theory of Guiliani’s, spoken about in The Tipping Point. I still seek further solutions. Any ideas and arguments are always welcome….

Winnie’s house was robbed recently. It already seems apparent that people are trying to say, but yes, it was inside job. That not to worry, we have not reached the terrible extent of strangers so brazenly hopping over this demi-god's wall & violating her personal space. AND no physical harm was caused. [Oh great. What a bonus.]

But theft should be extremely wrong. The very concept should not be in the general citizen’s mind if our country is close to being in a state of law. We should not be noticing the opportunities to commit crime, as we should believe straight from the subconscious start Crime Is Wrong and that There Will Be Serious Consequences. But while crime rules over our lives, we give allowances to such unhealthy behaviour and attitudes that were alive in the minds of those people who stole her jewels.

Will I leave SA because of the extent of crime?
Perhaps.
And this is why;
We live in a world order that dictates that the globe is cut up in to ‘states’. Within each state, the people of that area buy into their own “Social Contract” about which John Locke and Hobbes philosophised. If the majority of South Africans decide they are content with the increasing crime, the deteriorating freedom, and what I believe to be an unhealthy amount of stress on our daily living and survival – then they accept this.

The majority have then chosen a social contract that I do not agree with, and it is up to me to react accordingly.

Incredibly luckily for me I have resources at hand to relocate to a country where they choose to not live like this. And I will, as I do not need to nor should I have to live under such fear. At the core of this all, I do not see a biological obligation (perhaps then a social one?) to stay and fight against people who are happy with how things are. I believe I have paid back my debt to my state, who assisted with my university education. I believe I have fought for change.

I do hope to never have it reach this stage, and for awhile longer I will work for it to not to. But if my fellow citizens and I continue to disagree, then I will seek out a better future elsewhere. With sadness.

49 comments:

Phlippy said...

Hey Champs - I have had a gun to my head so I know the shaken feeling. Mine was being held up in a store when I was 19 and working there. I will read the rest of your post shortly and comment at greater length as this is a passionate subject

Champagne Heathen said...

Thanks Phlippy - I know, it is a LONG post, with several points.

I think we need to be reminded regularly that what too many people go through, is not normal. And that it is healthy to be traumatised & to go for counselling, no matter how everyday these incidents seem.

Ginness "Fed up too" Pig said...

You forgot about the KwaZulu-Natal provincial minister of safety and security Bheki Cele robbery.

Funny you should mention Boston. When I was there last month I was telling everyone that SA is not that bad and that they should come visit. Then in the middle of the week I get an e-mail from my house mate: The house has been robbed.

Phlippy said...

OK, read the whole thing, now I can comment.

There are only two areas I'd like to potentially add to.

1. The punishment fitting the crime, or at least the idea thereabouts. You summised the problem very well in that people are not scared to commit a crime, what are the repurcussions? A warm bed and a plate of food in a prison, or getting away without any problem and some extra money in your pockets. Their is no motivation to NOT do crime!

2. Police wages, I feel it is deplorable that police, the people that are paid to protect us, who work harder and more dangerously than any other government official, get paid less than a goivernment official. Now I do not have the energy or the page real estate to go into this debate in detail. In essence, why do parliamentarians get paid stupid sums of cash for doing sweet fck all, leaving early and having perks. Why is it that only in African countries our officials are so extravagant that they can charter their own planes for them and their entourage to go shopping. That money, and the obscene paychecks can be used to increase salaries for those who NEED it, and EARN it. I have worked in my life very very hard for the money I earn and I know the value of this. People that stand with their hands out and EXPECT are not welcome. So from a policing perspective, I feel that their salaries could be increased, justifiably

Guinness "Linking again" Pork said...

From the March Economist.com cities guide for Johannesburg
See our tips on crime and safety in Johannesburg.

Daedalus said...

Elllooooo Shampooooo,
Pheck that was a long read (again)

I say bring back some capital punishment and we are sorted, but that is just my view ne...

Champagne Heathen said...

Guinnie - I hadn't heard about that one.

People can still visit, and be VIGILANT (although tell that to the CNN war correspondent!). But they are also shocked at how us Jo'burgers/ S.Africans just adapt & how we now choose to live.

Phlippy - exactly! As there is not great reaction to the crime, people are realising it is possible to get away with this. This feeds into the criminal mindset & lawless nature our country might be heading towards. More reaction, and hopefully this can be turned around.

And thank you for your comment about salaries. Too true!!

Guinnie - thanks for that link!

Daeds - I wonder. I am against Capital Punishment. But I wonder how harsh we need to go to turn the crime levels and mindset & violent nature around.

Daedalus said...

Shampoooo,
Some people are against it, yes. But then there are countries that chop off you hand if you steal ;) and there are those that have public hanging for possession of dagga LOL ... I guess I am saying, only an "iron fist" will deal with these guys. They clearly have NO regard for the life of a decent citizen.

Guinness "L" Piggy said...

The funny thing is that the "Honourable" Mr Cele then got police guards round his house. The next night they robbed his neighbour :-)

fly said...

You are right when you say its not fair and to be honest its the main problem with South Africans....our complancency....

We should have never let it get to this point and now, I wouldnt say its too late, but its a lot harder to deal with...

What to do..... ???

A lot more ppl are complaining, banks and big wigs are getting involved and hopefully it starts to make a differences...its bullshit that I feel nervous about driving home at night when my journey is a.) thru a safe suburb and b.) a 3 minute drive...

Ive had a gun to the head...strangely it didnt bother me to much... I never lost sleep as I never thought my life was in danger....I would be more worried now tho...ppl have less respect for life...

Champagne Heathen said...

Daeds - that's what I am gradually realising. The deteriorating regard for human life. And so, it is why I have suddenly opened up to LISTENING to the Capital Punishment debates.

Guinnie - as that article you linked to - will he learn the lesson to safe guard the whole province, not just his house. I guess he didn't learn!

Fly - exactly. Complacency means acceptance. And if we accept this situation, then I must make decisions on my future. To show I do not accept it - in whatever form that means.

'What to do' is the scary question that perhaps freezes us from action & reaction. But if we do not do something very very soon we might head to the anarchy of certain states a few borders north of us. Are we ready for THAT?!

And why does the petty crime have to be SO violent these days!??!

Daedalus said...

Shampooo,
I think people are just getting gatvol.

PS: You should type more sexy posts you political one you... you are way to cute to sort out government problems :P

Guinness "Learner" Pig said...

Champs, you have too much faith in people. Very few, if any, learn their lessons. It's all just a little bit of history repeating

fly said...

Because ppl dont value life....its quite simple....

Actually we need a revolt, we need the goverment to realise that we have had enough....

Insane Insomniac said...

Champs, I absolutely agree with you. Living in London may not be the safest city in the world (bombings/muggings/hoodies etc) but at least I can go and sit int he park on a warm afternoon or walk home alone at arb hours of the morning (due to working arb hours) and not feel threatened.

But then again, being raised in Jozi, it seems to equip you to live anywhere in the world. Cos no matter how bad it gets, no matter where you may find yoruself, you can always think 'hey, at least its not Jeppe Str on a friday night.'

Thegodowner said...

You're absolutely spot on about it not being normal.
Crime is generally accepted as business as usual. big business.
Thanks for this, you're a honey for worrying about the well-being of everyone in SA, myself included.
I can't say why things are as they are, and am clueless as to how to change it for the better. Somehow i don't think capital punishment is going to help, I think it has more to do with respect and acceptance and it's too much to ask for that to become the the norm all on it's own.
You do seem to have a knack for getting your point across extremely well with your writing.
Keep on rocking (the boat).

fly said...

uhoh daeds....what have you done... !!!

Never ever tell a girl she is too cute to sort out political problems....??!!! what are you thinking :oP

Its like saying a girl should tend to the kittens while us guys can talk about the real stuff she wouldnt understand :-O

Daedalus said...

fly... ak
Opened a can of worms methinks

SaM-GiRL said...

Its pathetic!! And Mbeki keeps saying that crime is decreasing - bullocks!! I wonder what a crime free South-Africa would be like.... beautiful I imagine.... You can dream hey.

fly said...

@Daeds....sniggers.... :-)

Its actually from a comedy sketch called "women, know your limits" by Harry Enfield and what you said just fitted in perfectly ;o)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjxY9rZwNGU

Its horrbly sexist but I do believe the comedian is taking the piss... :o)

Champagne Heathen said...

Fly - be careful. You are starting to take it one step too far.

Daeds knows I know & am happy with his tongue-in-(his own)-cheek sense of humour. (Plus I have easily-blackmailable photos of Daeds!)

fly said...

;o)

Champagne Heathen said...

Daeds - if I am THAT sexy, then maybe that is a way to finally get the citizens to watch the parliamentary debates!!

Guinnie The Cynic - I know. But I will cling on to being an idealist for as long as possible. So many cycnics I have met along the way say that they were once like me, and ask me to stay this way as long as possible.

Fly (and to Daeds' GatVol comment) - when will our Tipping Point be?? When will SA citizens really have had enough to revolt/ protest/ really hold our gov accountable. I watch as Zim goes down & wonder when their revolution is. And ask if we have the same complacency culture in SA. And if so, uh oh.

Insane - That is what my generation, with resources, is able to weigh up. SA's wonder vs. Personal Safety & quality of living.

And yes, my friends in France were amazed at how I could walk down the street or deal with some dodgy Maghreb guy in a "do not dare fck with me" way. How much bravado I had.

Hello Thegodowner!- Thanks for the sweet words! And you know I will keep shouting from my soap box!

Crime being Big Business - just look at how the country reacts to the annual Dec cash-in-transit heists. Police say on TV, "It is their Xmas Shopping Spree"...and WE LAUGH!?!?!

If you have any ideas on how to change the norm, and the mindset...you know where to post it!

Samgirl - Imagine! And that is the thing, I think most South Africans never really believe a safe SA will ever be a reality. So instead of fighting for it, they accept the current (worsening) state!!

fly said...

Tipping point ??? ...hopefully soon thats all I can say....it gets to a point where you start realising that there is a time soon when you will lose someone close to you or you will be the person close that will leave...

If that doesnt make you angry then I dont know what does...

Guinness "Cynical" Piglet said...

Champs I wish I could really be a cynic, that way seeing what goes on round me would not touch me as much :-)
I'm a professional cynic but my heart's not in it

Champagne Heathen said...

Fly - tipping point - look in this post and there's a link explaining the theory.

That time is now, when I fear for lives, as do most South Africans but still...where is our reactions & actions?!?

Guinnie - feeling is good, healthy, means you are living life to complex extents.

Champagne Heathen said...

High In Dubai just wrote a good post in comment to my post - I especially like his 5th paragraph about it being a emotional & psychological problem, rather than economic & social.

Go and read it:
http://highindubai.blogspot.com/2007/02/then-there-was-this.html

Jam said...

Here's an irony. I was about to say "hell yeah, I'll come and march" until I realised that although it's a Saturday, it's a day on which I am meant to be filming a story with a man. A man who was held up in his house by 6 armed robbers, beaten and robbed blind.

Daedalus said...

Shampooooo,
Honestly ... if you ever had to fight or try and debate with me, erm ... I will only hug you, no matter how hard you try and p!ss me off or get your point across :P

Guinness "Complex" Piggy said...

Champs, never fear, I make my life very complex to live to the extents.

There is a running joke with some friends who when they see me ask me "What is new in the chronicles of Guinness Pig"

What is it with these long posts "5th paragraph" :-)

Peas on Toast said...

Not having a gun to your head is odd in a city like JHB.

On a conversation with my colleagues this morning, it was found that 3 out of four of us had been a victim of crime as in smash and grab/hold up/hijacking.

I am the minority that hasn't. I touch wood everyday and wonder how long it is to last.
This isn't normal. At least not outside South Africa.

Flo said...

There's a blogging issue here. Write long, local interest politcal posts and few people read them. Post on kissing a model at a bar and suddenly the world wants to know the sordid details. (More please).

But well done for putting this one out there. I will go down the HIV road, but I've steered clear of crime on my site. That said, as an impassioned personal plea for sanity to prevail and for governmental recognition of what is a huge problem here, this kicks butt.

Capital punishment won't change the mindset, I don't think. We're dealing with people who are desperate and have nothing to lose.

fuzzy logic said...

Champs, this is a hard one, but yes, something's got to be done! I love my country, and always advocate people to go visit SA, but it's so hard to convince them when there are stats like we have.

I'm one of the many currently living in the UK (to travel, not to escape), but I do want to go home someday, and I don't want crime to prevent me from doing so. (Yes, I know I should probably be back home, fighting for this cause, but frankly, I feel powerless to make a difference.)

In the last few years that I was living in SA, I've been robbed at knifepoint in the middle of the bush, woken up to find a kid in my bedroom stealing my stuff, my car broken into more than once, my parents' house broken into - and I count myself lucky! That can't be normal...

Guinness "Days of our lives" Porker said...

Ah fol, you hit proverbial the nail on the head. We all love a bit of gossip. Ignorance is bliss, and like you say we rant and rave today bout crime, but tomorrow what we have written is gone and forgotten :-)

DaveRich said...

Good postin. Melville situation getting dire too. Manager shot and killed at the Dros last Sunday morning. Got huge coverage in the media. People from the Cape and Durban knew about it before I did. Baaad.

Guinness "Flash Mob" Porc said...

Was there not once talk of organising a Flash Mob in Mellville?

ChewTheCud said...

Don't shout about crime too loudly like FNB or the government will come stamp you down ;)

Champagne Heathen said...

Jam - and so your story will reach others through other mediums! It should be fascinating! And then you will post about it for us to also find out his story.

I really think we need to start adding up the crime incidents to actually become horrified by how regularly & to what extents this is happening!

Daeds - you just need to know who likes to debate & who likes other forms of conversation. It is no use arguing with people who are not going to listen. So with you...we will drink tequila & talk happy things!

Guinnie - all the better for you then!

His post wasn't long?!?

Peas - yes, it is not normal, and I think we need to recognise this before we can really realise WHY we want change from where we are crime-wise!

Flo - aaah, thanks for the return visit! And thanks for the compliment!

What I do love about blogs is that you can follow your interests, and even just your mood for that day. But yes, one has to be able to write a serious post in such a way as to still keep your readers. That's the challenge I enjoy.

Like my last Monday's post - let's just hope this post's awareness grows into something bigger.

Maybe I should just email this straight to dear old Mbeki. Anyone have his email address??

Fuzz - exactly. And even those people who "chose" to say are not necessarily all doing something, and also do not know what to do. How do you make your denying indulgent government listen to you FINALLY!?

I've always felt fairly immune from crime, but as I read your list, I racked up my own & stopped and said, "HEY! I have been a victim" but yes, I don't include myself as it has not been violent. Knock on wood!!!!!

Come back when you are ready and you see yourself gaining more from living here than there. I think.

Guinnie - exactly. Where does this post go from here. Enough with awareness on crime. What action do I take? What commitments to this fight have I made. In order to keep my readers, tomorrow needs to be a change, and a shorter post etc. So does the crime topic get lost in the net?!?

DaveRich - FFFFFFCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKK!!! I had not heard about that. Oh, I am so so so sorry & love & condolences to all of you. That is one post I forgot to link to - the one about the Melville rape incident in Dec. Where they closed down that suburb's police station rather than increased the police presence in a suburb renowned to becoming more & more dangerous.

I was hearing about your BOBBIES ON THE BEAT situation. I hope you guys can organise that. I love that suburb far too much!

Guinnie - I will check into it.

Chews - I have no money or government accounts they can pull out of me, so I am safe! Ha! The little (wo)man is stronger in some ways!

I would love a contingent of gov officials to rock up at my door wanting to "chat"!!! I have A LOT to say to them!! All with a sickly sweet ironic smile on my face.

Guinness "Lent" Pig said...

Tequila? So much for lent hey.....

Champagne Heathen said...

Guinnie - good point. Daeds, either I will have to see you after Easter, or we can indulge in suitcase shooters. Bleugh. No wait. That gave me a flashback to this weekend's suitcases. We'll find something to indulge in!

Guinness "Indulge" Pig said...

Hey, you really think suit cases are better?
Just read a post of a fellow lenter, sounds like it never was a serious effort anyway.

Bring on the tequila!

Lochinvar said...

I'm a bit late in on this, but to put a slightly different spin on it I'll quote (almost verbatim) one of those slightly irritating Ra-Ra-Ree spam emails I tend to receive from my mother and sisters ;-):

************
Crime definitely pays!

Question: "What is the influence of crime on the S.A. Govt?"

Answer: Crime generates millions and millions of Rand's for the S.A. Govt

Example 1:
Take the one million home owners in Gauteng who pay for "armed crime reaction" (not crime prevention) where private security companies react AFTER the crime has taken place.

This service costs on average R250 p.m. Therefore 1 000,000 x R240.00 X 12 months x 14% VAT, generates R403 million in tax revenue for the S.A. Govt!

Example 2:
A car thief steals a R500,000 car and receives between R10,000 and R30,000 for his deed.

The car owner is paid out by insurance and then purchases another similar vehicle, on which he pays 14% VAT of approx R70,000 as a direct result of crime. Who profited the most? The thief or the S.A.Govt?

We must begin with a mechanism whereby the S.A. Govt is forced to reconsider this unconstitutional and immoral practice of profiting from crime!

South Africans should demand that all payments related to protection of life and property should be VAT free and Tax deductible!

This principle should also apply to replacement of stolen property as well as estate duty. If a person dies as a result of crime we should also demand that estate duty not be paid. How much do you think the S.A. Govt has made out of estate duty from the murders of 1300 South African farmers?

Is it also not unreasonable to expect victims of violence and hijackings to pay their own medical costs? The Govt should pay for these expenses as well as family counselling for victims!
*********

A little long winded (sorry but I've cut out some of the rubbish) and probably unrealistic, but it makes the point.

Robert@iScatterlings.com said...

Loch,
Wow, you echo my sentiments! Trick is to get the government to listen.

And we know......bolts of lightening will burst out of someones arse before the government deign to allow someone a hearing about this.

What you propose makes perfect sense. Why should the survivors pay for their governments failure to protect their loved ones from criminals?

No doubt the usual bullshit will eminate from some politician and statistics provided to prove that SA is the safest country in paradise. But fact remains fact - crime and government reap the benefit of murder, GBH and robbery.

So no wonder the government does not want to change the staus quo.

You ordinary law abiding citizens do not. You provide much wanted lucre to the treasury.


Definitions of LUCRE on the Web:

SHAMEFUL PROFIT; "he would sell his soul for filthy lucre"
BOODLE: informal terms for money

Robert@iScatterlings.com said...

Um I preswed the button too quickly!

What I wanted to say was , "You law-abiding citizens do not profit in anyway from crime. In fact the reverse occurs.

Sad to dsay that in effect you pay to have your house burglared, your loved ones murdered and cars highjacked.

So the government is therefore complicit in every sense to the crimes committed in S Africa. They get paid.

Champagne Heathen said...

Guinnie - Na Aah. I take Lent seriously. No tequila till I am munching on Easter Eggs & Hot Cross Buns! (Oh man, it is already Hot Cross Toasted Bun season again! Yeah!)

Loch - But surely the government would profit so much more from a safe South Africa, as the Foreign Investment would FLOW in.

Surely they are not so short sighted about the wealth possibly accesible to them?!?

Rob - I am going to hold off a while longer from accepting this cynical view. Although I do see the possibility of it being true.

Yes, they are complacent cause some people in gov definitely think, "let the rich fend for themselves finally, AS WELL AS pay for the rest of SA to live in a social welfare state". This is dangerous, and so short-term minded.

While I am all for Socialism, this does not just mean rich people pouring money into the poor people's (and previously 'poor' but now disgustingly wealthy) lives. If the rich continue to not be heard & continue to be taken advantage of by our gov, they will up & leave, & then very very very sorry for the poor people of SA!

Triggermap said...

Champs, an excellent post as usual. The bit about social contracts and the limits thereof really vocalises how i feel. Hopefully you and others will never have to be pushed to your personal limit of what you can handle. Peace :)

Champagne Heathen said...

Trigger - Thank you for the compliment!

And I know we feel so much guilt thinking this way, that we could possibly or are going to leave, for our own sanity & safety, but yes, to get away from the emotional & irrational side and to the basic philosophy of living, there is sense.

The government plays on our emotions. While we need to play back on their rationality.

Good luck to you & your decisions! And I definitely hope I do not have to be where you are now.

Peas on Toast said...

Hi Champs - I read somewhere you'd drunk tequila somehwre.

Don't worry, I ate a whole tub of Pringles the other night and only after the final crumb realised I'd fucked up Lent only after 6 days...
So you're in good company. x

Champagne Heathen said...

What?!? What you on about?? Who has been spreading these rumours?!? I am tequila-free, and have been since way before Lent started (read 3 days before).

It is someone else who broke their lent, not dear sweet strong-willed me!

What is the punishment if you broke Lent!?!?