Crazy Season June 27, 2007Posted by isabelleinnamibia in Danger, Devastating, Namibia, Transport, Violence, Weather, Windhoek.
I have been struggling over the last few weeks to find something interesting or funny to write about. I often pick up inspiration from things I have seen, places I have been and as a last resort, The Namibian, the English-language national newspaper, which occasionally churns up a farcical article worth a giggle. But recently, all the news is pretty gruesome, about the Khomas Ripper who is offing young women and dumping them in bits around the city, gun-wielding taxi drivers chasing each other through downtown Windhoek during lunchtime, or various cases of child or gender abuse which are just too upsetting to talk about.
It seems to be Crazy Season at the moment. Over the last month or two, more and more people are getting mugged, stabbed, beat up, robbed, abused, murdered or committing suicide. It might just be my sensitivity to the issue after my wee mugging incident and the following attack on my colleague Tjono, but there is always a new “oh, did you hear what happened to so-un-so?” or another listing in the paper of ghastly events that are happening around the country. I don’t know if it is the winter, or the drought or whether I’m just noticing it more, but half the country seems to have gone crazy and are subjecting the sane half to their maniacal whims.
Some people have put it down to the drought. The rains didn’t really come this year, and so many crops failed, cows and livestock died and anyone working in agriculture (probably 80% of the population) is suffering as a consequence. Any small farmers who rely on the rains for their livelihood are feeling the pressure, and they are reaching desperation. The combination of poverty, desperation and a strong alcohol-dependency, it is not surprising that these terrible acts are happening nationwide. But I do find it sad, as Namibia is such a peaceful place and the people are friendly and warm. I am also concerned that, with a population of only 2 million people, and the devastating effects of AIDS and other diseases, high infant mortality and numbers of people being eaten by crocs or lions (no joke), that the Namibian population will cease to exist if this madness continues.
I must admit, I am a bit paranoid still. I am constantly on guard if anyone comes too close. Just last week I was convinced that I was about to get mugged by three guys who were walking towards me in the 20m from the car to a restaurant, so I ran away and hid behind some cars. Better to be safe than sorry, but also felt like a tool when I found my friend waiting outside the restaurant, wondering why I am crouched down between the cars.
As a measure towards ensuring my safety, I have acquired a moped. It is quite big, blue and goes at a top speed of about 70kmph, but is pretty nifty at shooting around town, even around the steep hills (that is if it starts – the cold mornings are upsetting it). Why I didn’t think of this before, I don’t know. Brrmmmmm brrmmm
I will try to come up with a story less depressing and gruesome soon.