Taking the bus downtown is the easy thing to do. It would drop me off near the restaurant. No circling the block looking for parking while avoiding pedestrians near Pike Place Market. No shelling out for parking.
However, the trip home would be tricky. Waiting in the dark at an unsavory intersection for a bus that has been known to run well behind schedule. If I make it safely onto the bus, I face a 40-minute ride back home. I’ve never been on that bus after dark without at least one sketchy passenger. Then get off the bus and walk home – right near where two young women were grabbed just weeks ago.
Option 3: Bag the whole idea and just go home after work. I chose to drive downtown.
I told Heather about my dilemma and she commiserated. We wondered if we, meaning Americans, are too fearful. We were both in Europe last year and noticed some pretty huge differences.
In Scandinavian countries (and maybe others, I’m not sure), babies are often left in their *strollers on the sidewalk like bicycles while parents are inside having dinner or shopping. The locals I talked to didn’t seem familiar with any kidnapping of those children. “Why would anyone want to take a baby?” one man asked me.
Despite multiple attacks on London’s Underground, “The Tube,” people crowd onto the system day after day. I saw no signs of concern or security. The attitude seems to be, “we’re not going to let what could happen stop us.”
I try to be reasonable and realistic and not let things stop me. But sometimes a girl just has to drive downtown for peace of mind.
*This is America. Please don’t think I’m suggesting you leave a small child on the sidewalk.