Saturday, January 24, 2009

gunshots and gangs

Jose and I were woken up two nights ago by a series of gunshots. It's not too rare to hear gunshots at all times of the day/night here. But these were close. It sounded like it was right outside the window. And there were like 7 or 8 in a row! I think they woke us both up at the same time. Jose grabbed my arm and asked if I heard it too. I asked if he thought it was in our building. He said no, that it was okay, that someone was probably just scaring away a robber. "Geez, thanks, that's reassuring," I was thinking. A little while later he closed his eyes and went back to sleep. Me, being the "First 48," "CSI," and "Law & Order" addict that I am, had to get up and investigate. I went into the living room, crawled to the window, and peeked outside. Nothing. Not even a car on the street. I watched for a little while, and after the dogs down the street stopped barking, went back to bed.

Yesterday, the cable guys were here hooking up the cable. I was sitting in the living room watching them work (you never know if they might slip something in their pockets). One of them was looking out the living room window and commented on the grafitti sprayed on one of the walls of the building next door. It says "Revolocos" on it. I asked him if he knew what it meant. He said yes, they are a "gang" for Motagua (a soccer team here). He explained that anyone that is a fan of Motagua could be a Revoloco, but some of them were crazy and very dangerous. They are the ones that stab people at soccer games and stuff. He said that they painted that on the wall to let people from the other team know that this is their territory. Great, I thought. I better remember to cheer for that team the next time...

I asked the guy if he knew any Revolocos. He said yes. And I got scared. Although I could hear the neighbors in the apartment next to us, I was still alone with these cable guys in the apartment. So I said, "Well, tell your friends not to get any ideas. I have a pistola and I know how to use it." They laughed. "No, seriously, I have one and I know how to shoot it." They just looked at me, and I felt a little safer knowing they thought I had a gun and would shoot an intruder.

I sent Jose a text message asking him to come home because I was starting to get nervous with the workers here. He came right home. When I told him what I had told the workers about my pistola (which isn't true, by the way) he said that probably wasn't a good idea. "If they DO try to rob us, Hannah, now they will definitely come armed."

Fabulous. I think it's time for me to get over my gun-fear and learn how to use one, for real.

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