‘But is it safe?’ I asked my uncle. He had just been to Mexico, on holiday. He was a science professor in North America, and was now in India.
‘Yeah?’ He looked at me slightly confused.
‘Is it safe like you know to walk down the street alone?’ I probed a little more. The minute Mexico is brought up I imagine drug cartels shooting their way through rundown streets.
‘Of course, its just like any other city, just like walking down a street in India. Maybe safer’.
I looked away embarrassed at falling prey to stereotypes the media had fed me. Americans and Europeans think India is unsafe.They also expect to find people traveling on elephants and cows on every street. India isn’t like that and neither was Mexico filled with only drug lords.
While India maybe a tad bit unsafe (especially for women) it isn’t quite like how the media portrays it, we are not subject to violent crime every now and then. At least, I’ve never been mugged in Mumbai but was on the verge of getting thrashed in Auckland by a group of locals (in New Zealand which is apparently the most peaceful country in the world).
Lesson learned. Don’t believe everything you read in the papers. The world is a lot safer than we think it is. Or rather after the recent attacks in Paris and Sydney, maybe no place in the world is truly safe.
So take everything you read with a pinch of salt. The media will always sensationalize a story even when there is no story. Don’t be scared of traveling to ‘developing’ countries. They are a lot safe than you think.