This is a part of America

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Being away from family, friends, norms and culture codes that I’m used to can be challenging. Sometimes in a fun way and sometimes in a frustrating/confusing way.

You’re given a broader frame of references which gives you a better understanding on why people act, and think in different ways. I’ve been traveling all my life but it’s something else to live in a country and get to know people who are born and raised in that country.

At the moment I’m a bit shaken about being yelled at on the street – twice. Both times just by passing a person, who probably had a bad day?! or were on drugs?! To be able to provoke someone, buy just being white, is new to me.

Other people have warned me about walking by myself or driving in certain areas of the town, because of criminality and drugs. And I will probably listen to their advice if my reaction on being yelled at shook my nerves.

We were at a dinner the other night where one of the guests told us that he and his wife had  lived in a house that was placed in the middle of two neighborhoods and two different gangs. Which one night ended up in a gunshot, going through their bedroom!! I mean in the apartment building where we lived in Stockholm people were arguing with angry notes in the hallway…

That story did not take place in Columbus, but googling crime in Columbus is not that uplifting. Last year there were 143 homicides in the city of Columbus, (0 in the area of town we live in).  To compare with rates of homicides in the country of Sweden which in 2017 were 113. Both Columbus and Cleveland have experienced marked increases in their homicide rates the last couple of years. One reason for the increase in Columbus are gangs. The police have identified 40 gangs operating in the region.

I never felt insecure walking the streets or going places in Columbus so I’m going to continue to do that, but it’s always good to be careful (choose the right streets and time). So no need to worry – mom! 🙂

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