Archive for May 17th, 2010

Playing it safe

I just fended off a knife attacker! Well, not a real one, but someone playing one in my self-defence class. I also got to be the attacker, which was fun. Obviously it wasnt a real knife; it was a plastic bendable one. I also poked someone’s eyes out, found their pressure points and my old favorite – bent someone’s fingers back. (That was the only way I could ever hurt my older brother when we fought when we were kids, so I know that one works!) Anyway, I thought taking a class like this was probably a good idea since I will be on the road by myself for so long.

Tina laughed at me when I told her about this and said, Isnt that the kind of class one would take when moving to a huge foreign city like, say, London? I suppose so, but I have always felt so comfortable and safe here. Of course, it helps that we live next to the Home Office (UK version of Homeland Security) and in one of the most watched neighborhoods in the world there are video cameras everywhere. Smile! Youre on CCTV! Whereas when Im on the road in the middle of who-knows-where no-mans land America, anything could happen and no one would ever know. Thats a bit intimidating.

So I want to be as safe and prepared as possible. I will try to always have my cell phone charged, my car (whatever it may be) in good working order and a can of pepper spray on me. And I plan to be smart about when and where I go, and particularly where I stay. Hopefully a good amount of time I will stay with family and friends; when I cant, Ill try to stay somewhere cheap, but well lit and busy. No Bates motels for me, nor any sleeping in the car by the side of the road. I’ll never forget one place that my cousin Tara, Nick and I almost stayed at when we were driving to Washington DC when Nick was around 5 years old. There was no phone in the room (and we didn’t yet have cell phones), the bolt was literally broken off the door and the room reeked of smoke and mold. We didn’t even put our bags down.

As much as I want adventure, to see all different parts of the country and to rough it a little, I also want to do it in one piece and make it home safe to my family and friends. So for the next few weeks my Monday nights will be spent avoiding punches, escaping headlocks and learning how to fight back!

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