I am daily reminded of how glad I am that I was raised in a country where values such as honesty, hard work and integrity are so esteemed. I know that comment may raise eyebrows--like, "What rock have you been under?" But, no matter what-- the US culture has been highly influenced by Christian ethics, and on the whole this can be felt when you are out and about.
I miss that here.
Theft is really, really common here. Even "normal" people steal. Without a second thought, it seems. Just swiping things they see laying places, without even thinking to ask, "Hey--is this yours?"
A random and not valuable example: I was taping up a sign to our gate and had laid the roll of tape down on the sidewalk. I saw a piece of garbage about 3 steps away and I went to pick it up. After I picked up the trash, I turned around to see a guy had just swiped the roll of tape. Okaayyy?
Remember how Rey and I got back from our little trip on a Sunday night? Well, in the mail we had received... a cool little doggy toy had come from a special Aunty for Aleni.
Monday morning, Noah saw the awesome toy and fell in love:
It not only barked, panted and whimpered... it also had a flexible body and moved when touched. Noah had it in his hand the entire day.
That afternoon, we went to the plaza (as I wrote about). Of course, doggy had to go too:
As we got ready to leave, I grabbed the kids and asked Rey to get the "stuff". We literally walked about 15-20 steps before I looked at Rey's hands and asked him where doggy was. Rey got "that look" on his face and we turned to look where we'd been sitting. In the space of about 1 1/2 minutes, doggy had disappeared.
We looked around at the hands of the people going by. No luck. No more doggy.
We were home about an hour later and Noah tried to turn the house upside down looking for his beloved puppy. He was heart-broken.
I finally thought of checking at a toy store at the end of the road to see if they had something similar. I took Noah with me, because he was pulling me out the door: "Find doggy, find doggy!!"
At first it looked like we weren't going to find anything and then when found this for about $10:
I told Noah, "Looooook! We found doggy!" He was hysterically happy. I do have to hide pictures of the "real" doggy though. ;)