Thursday, April 23, 2009

Terror in Schaumburg

You fourteen fifteen! fifteen! fans already know that expateek's very security conscious. After all, she lived in Johannesburg, South Africa for awhile, which would put anyone on heightened alert.

At her house in Jozi, she had walls. Nine foot high walls, like these.

South Africa - Security 2, originally uploaded by lemoncat1.

She had electric fencing on top of her walls. There was a generator on the property, to keep the electric fence going, even during rolling power black-outs.

F1000008 fence, originally uploaded by ehdindigo.

She didn't have the spear-like pointy bits on her walls, but she often wished she did.

She had an automatic gate, that rolled open and quickly rolled shut. She always checked up and down the road, and in her rearview mirrors, to make sure she wasn't being followed. If another car was too close behind her, she'd go around the block and try another approach. She wasn't being paranoid -- she knew friends of friends who'd been shot and killed in their own driveways in hijackings gone wrong.

She had security cameras trained over the garden and gate. She had motion sensor lighting. She had an alarm system directly linked to a local listening station/armed response service.

After the robbery, security companies came and installed trellis slam-doors at the entrance to the master bedroom, so she and Mr D could lock themselves in at night. All the windows were treated with shatterproofing, so that attackers couldn't break the glass. expateek bought pepper spray and expandable batons for conking people on the head.

And all of that helped expateek feel a little bit safer, but not much.

So yesterday, expateek was horrified to discover that the new security system here, in Schaumburg, was malfunctioning.

The first part of the system worked.

IMG_6865 latch, originally uploaded by ehdindigo.

But the second, more technical layer of security, was suddenly all gone wrong.

IMG_6866 hole, originally uploaded by ehdindigo.

Because expateek had set down the security key, and it had disappeared!

IMG_6868 post, originally uploaded by ehdindigo.

Fortunately, the thing had just dropped down between the chair cushions.

Breathing a sigh of relief, expateek put the post in the hole.

IMG_6870 post and hole, originally uploaded by ehdindigo.

And voilà, she could relax again.



Pochyemu said...

So that was....36 security measures in South Africa, and only TWO in Chicago!?! You're going soft!

expateek said...

Pochyemu!!!!! Halloooo!

Ha! Yes, thank God, it's much more relaxing here. I sort of forgot about all of that S.A. stuff, and then was telling an old friend about it all, and she was all, "WHAT?" You don't realise how you adapt to what's "normal" and eventually hardly give it a second thought. Anyway, Chicago, in spite of its bad rep, is really really safe by comparison.

Congrats on the dissertation, I seem to recall you've finished? Hope so. Still working on mine... procrastination is the number one threat to ME in Chicago.

I hope to be in Berks/Surrey in Sept, let's do another killing evening, shall we?? xx

Pochyemu said...

YES!!! Come come come! I'll be in the first throws of my MA programme so I might need you to go through with the killing for real. Don't worry, we'll think of a good alibi for you.

And yes, the dissertation is finished, THANK GOD. By the end I was so sick of the sight of it I wanted to throw up every time I looked at it, so I'm MORE than happy to wave goodbye to it! Keep fingers crossed for a good result!

I hope you're loving least you've found the Polish aisle to deaden the culture shock, right?? Also - cactus leaves - I think you're supposed to peel them and fry them...or was it boil? Anyway, they're very nice.