Before we moved to San Salvador, many people warned us about violence. I read books and articles about the gangs, the crime, the politics, the bloodshed. I set myself of for a slanted view of everything around me. I was ready to view the world through blood colored glasses.
It was so bad that our first few nights here, I thought we were hearing shootouts all over the city. We hunkered down, and my thoughts turned to which walls were decent cover, and what the best routes around the house for quick and silent exits. (I figured out how to deal with the drop from the high walls around the house and knew which neighbor’s yards have exits to what). I was wondering how likely I was to get arrested replacing my guns, with what make and model and how exactly to carry when we wear so few clothes. I looked up a local Kung Fu school, determiend to not only get back in shape, but to start practicing again. (Seriously…the worst choice I could make at this stage of life is to bust out some Kung Fu in response to……ok anything at all) (I still need to make my way there, but out of love of the art)
But then I looked out the window. I have never lived in a place that loves fireworks so much. Fireworks of every kind. Small ones, big ones, sometimes complete displays sometimes just a few sparklers. I felt better knowing there are a few designed to sound like gunshots. People use them on their larger farms to scare people off the land.
On any given night there is more likely to be a visible fireworks display than not, especially in December. I rarely know why there is a display. Sometimes I like to think there is no reason. There is a downside. Every year many children (and adults) loose fingers, or worse. The accidents can put a damper on all the fun.
If you happen to come here be aware that though YES there is an abundance of gun violence to be realistically afraid of, take the time to look out the window. You are (probably) not being shot at.
OH and NO…don´t break the law and carry an illegal gun here. I read about several arrests and if you go ahead and break the law here, your government cannot just bust you out. My narrative was about my THOUGHTS not my actions (though I did scope out the area, but that is both legal and wise to do in general).