Be real, what is your expectations from this post?
When our landlord sat us down and started his speech with “Girls, this is Africa”, I honestly expected the worst. South Africa is, in the west, known for a high level of crime. All we hear about is violence, theft and rape. And of course, compared to our low crime-rate in Norway and Skandinavia, here is a lot of crime here. That does not mean you should be worried for your life at all times.
Ive been here for five days now, and living in a quite nice area of Port Elizabeth I have yet to feel unsafe (well, maybe exept when our roof fell down on our beds due to water-damage…). Safety is often what you make of it. You can have bad luck, be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Also in big cities in the west you would watch out for your bag, think twice about walking alone in a dark alley and taking rides from strangers.
50% of South Africas population lives in poverty, starvationg can make the best man desperate. Make him do stupid things. We take extra precautions here. As a blonde, clearly foreign girl, I never walk alone after dark, which I would not hesitate to do at home. But if I would go around thinking that everyone is out to get me, then I would never be able to experience the world. So I choose not to worry. I choose to think that people are generally nice. You are allowed to think that Im naive.
There is a balance between being naive and being open. If you cant let yourself trust anyone around you, then you are going to miss out on so much. You can be free and safe at the same time.