So, I still think Tom is just trying to scare me so that I won’t want to dine out so much (currently, 1-2 times a week, including weekends with friends).

We’ve been receiving lots of security warnings since we arrived, and I have to admit, I’ve begun to think that folks are just being overly cautious. I mean, thousands of people ride the buses and metro here every day, so why shouldn’t we? I know that we’re more of a target than the majority of people, being “deep pocket” Americans, but still, I sometimes begin to doubt that we need to take all of the precautions they tell us to take. Would it really be so bad to take a bus?

Then Tom sends me something like this report, of robberies in our general area in the past month.

  • 5/2 At around 20h, three thieves robbed customers and took R$1,700 from Estaiada Padaria e Confeitaria in Brooklin.
  • 5/7 Four armed men made an attack at 21.30 at Shimpachi Japanese restaurant in Liberdade.
  • 5/9 At 23h, criminals invaded the restaurant Emiglia in Pinheiros, and collected purses, jewelry and cellulars from customers.
  • 5/27 About 30 clients had their belongings stolen from Braz pizzeria in Rua Sergipe.
  • 6/1 At dawn, criminals invaded Carlota, in Rua Sergipe, robbed customers and escaped in the car of a victim.
  • 6/5 At midnight, five armed robbers invaded the restaurant La Tambouille, in Jardins, and stole from customers and employees. The attack lasted two minutes.
  • 6/8 A group of eight assailants raided employees and customers Gigio Italian canteen, in Bras. At least ten people were robbed.
  • 6/12 Five robbers enter the door of the service counter of Balcao bar, at the neighborhood Cerqueira Cesar, and robbed the cashier and customers.

The indignity of it all! I can only imagine what it’s like to be dining and have these fellas dash in, rob you, and dash out. I wonder, after the dust clears, are you still expected to pay for your meal?

Granted that only a couple of these are in our “area of operations,” but it does make me rethink my nascent nonchalance, though I suspect if we become victims, it will be because we’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. These are carefully timed operations, quick ins and outs. Opportunity strikes, if you will.

The moral of the story is, well, be vewy, vewy careful (thank you, Elmer Fudd).

Watch the people around us, especially when a vehicle pulls up nearby. And, carry very little on us that we can’t afford to lose. That means, no iPhones and no credit cards and little cash beyond what we plan to spend. No worries about jewelry, since that’s not my thing, and I am now out of the habit of carrying a purse with my life’s necessities in it.

But, what this does NOT mean is that we won’t dine out any more. Heck, I’ve got to get out of the house SOME time!