Thursday, 11 August 2011

Weee-Oooo Weee-Oooo

Today's post isn't directly about the riots.
You may have noticed that I haven't addressed them on this blog.
Lots of other people are talking about them and, in real life, I'm certainly talking and thinking about them.  I'll just say the following.

Are the riots disgusting and sad?  Yes
Is it senseless violence?  Yes
Are there sociological reasons that are at the root of all this?  Yes

So back to the real point of the post.
The riots have helped point out yet another difference between my country of origin and my adopted home.  On Tuesday night, the buzz was that violence was expected to spread to Manchester.  Ross and I judiciously avoided city centre (British for downtown) from early afternoon.  We tucked up safely at home and then posted to Facebook to let people know we were safe.  Then we called my grandparents (who don't have the internet) to reassure them that we were out of harm's way.

As we sat on the couch were heard a long wail from what must have been several sirens.  The sound cut through the air.  Ross tensed and said, "That sounds really bad."  I agreed.

But it got me thinking.  That amount of siren noise would barely have been worth noting in Dallas.  I'm certainly not saying that Dallas is crime-ridden.  To the contrary, I felt very safe living there.  But there must be some cultural difference in use of sirens.  I'm pretty sure I can count on both hands the number of times I've heard sirens since moving to Manchester.  I've lived here a year and a half.  I'm pretty sure I heard sirens on at least a weekly basis in Dallas.

I don't know if it's because there aren't freeways running through the city here, or because they use cameras to catch most traffic violations (like speeding and running lights), or some other reason.  It's sort of nice.  The siren sound means so much more when it's more rare.  It makes life seem safer during the times when you don't hear it.

Wouldn't it be nice if we never had to hear sirens at all?

Those are my thoughts, and now here are some pictures.
On Wednesday, we went into town to run errands and saw some of the aftermath.  It didn't look too terrible. We saw boarded up windows, like this high end jean shop (Diesel).  Every single window had been smashed.

We also saw this little pastry shop, which was open for business despite it's boarded windows.

Thankfully, Manchester didn't experience much trouble on the next night.  Mostly due to this:

The street where our warehouse is.

It was a very rainy and unseasonably cold day- one of the best crime deterrents there is.  When we went into town today we did see a few more boarded windows, but we weren't sure if they were new damage or not.

Stay safe.

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