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I live in the Dallas, TX area and while it is the worst place I can think of to be a young and single man I can say from my experience that it is a safe place to live. For all I love about Costa Rica, the one thing I truly hate about it is the people that stole from me because the opportunity presented itself.
There came a point I was intensely irritated with someone on the bus because he picked up my bag and placed it in the racks above me. I was afraid if I fell asleep I would wake up and find my bags missing. I fell asleep one time on the bus and had a cap stolen just because it was on my knee. Seriously. I even had a glasses case stolen from me probably because somebody was trying to buy a rock of crack with it. One night I went out in the wrong part of the city and I got attacked at knifepoint by two junkies. I have become far more alert since my time there to a point I always keep my bags close to me.
The exception is in the rural areas like Rio Celeste where the young people are close to church and family. They are simple with no desire for anything more.
I saw some people in the cities that were so fried on crack they couldn't do anything except beg on the streets and drool while everyone passed by him waiting for him to die. Every culture has certain people that bring shame to them and contribute to false stereotypes but for the majority I found Costa Rica to have the nicest people in the world. They were far more welcoming and accepting toward me than Americans.
I can go to LA Fitness and keep my stuff in a locker with no padlock and still find it there. I can go to Barton Springs in Austin where there are over fifty people swimming and I can keep stuff on a lawn with nobody touching it. Americans leave each other alone, which is good to a degree. The problem is that it is not a place to find love or community. I have never felt more lonely and frustrated than in America but at least I don't have to chain my bags to my leg. In Costa Rica, at least people can look me in the eye. It is a tradeoff.
It always depends on where you are in any country. Back in the U.S., I lived within 30 miles of one of the top ten most dangerous U.S. cities. And yet my small town is very safe. Abroad, I'd want to be meet someone I've been talking to for a while, whether it's a girl or an employer. That's the route I took for China and the Philippines.
China seems to be pretty safe. I can go out at all hours of the night alone and it is no problem. I've done so many times. But I would always get to know the city first of course.
Indeed. The issue of safety can be quite complex, and you really require local knowledge. When I lived in Phnom Penh ten years ago, the city had a bad reputation for safety. However, it was perfectly safe to wander around anywhere in the city during daylight hours. It was relatively safe to wander around most of the city at night, but for some reason there were no-go areas where if you walked there after the sun went down you were basically dead meat. These included everything to the north-east of the Russian Blvd., Monovong Blvd. intersection, including the Wat Phnom roundabout. I've no idea why this tourist area, literally within stones-throw of the relatively safe Monovong Blvd., was given over to criminals at night, but evidently it was. I took a short cut through that section of town a couple of times before it was pointed out that this was stupid, and had no problems, but I was very lucky. You would ideally want to research this sort of stuff in advance.
One thing I like about the west, is besides it being a hellhole, it's actually quite safe. A lot of people have what they desire, and usually don't need anything else. There are places where your stuff might get looked over and depending on the opportunity, someone might snatch it or you might run into ne'er-do-wells who're looking for trouble. These are in the minority-packed areas, usually with blacks or hispanics. You can take a monkey out the jungle...
However, exercising common sense(don't push your luck like a dumbass) with some extra precaution, will keep you and your valuables more than safe in the west. Even in the worst of western ghettos, if you do your thing and mind your own business, you might not even get so much as a look and the chances of being a victim of a crime are slim.
And then there are the f***ing airport baggage handlers... I KNEW there was a reason I decided to carry my own shit with me on the plane!
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Compared with many non-western countries? Yes.
Compared with other developed countries? No.
Verdict: As long as you stay out of the dangerous areas, you'll be pretty safe.
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I don't know about the US, but my country (Belgium) is definitely safer than the Latin American countries I have visited (Mexico and Peru). Still, it also depends on what areas you are comparing. I am sure there are certain areas in the US that are a lot more dangerous than certain wealthy areas of Latin America (like Miraflores in Lima, Peru). But yeah, in general, developed countries like the US or Western Europe don't have as much crime as less developed countries.
As others have noted, local safety is a complex issue. Even in the Philippines, it varies widely, depending on location and who you are. We are quite safe in our area of Misamis Oriental in Mindanao, but I am unwilling to bet my life on that. We are prepared to deal with wandering
In the USA, crime and safety are highly related to race and class. The murder rate for whites is actually slightly less than Canada. For blacks it is more than 1000% more dangerous and somewhere in between if you are latino. If you are white or Asian and you involve yourself with those areas and cultures, you will likely be subject to the "local" crime rate.
One way or the other, always bet the culture.
I don't know, to me all your circumstances you talked about in Costa Rica sound easily duplicable if I go to the capital city of my state. And my state isn't even bad like, say, Louisiana or something, it's actually quite affluent. Though to be fair about Costa Rica I know a guy who moved there and got threatened over something and had to move back to America.
Yeah, I dunno. I mean you don't wanna go to San Salvador or Jamaica or some place where it's statistically horrendously violent, but eh. Seems Costa Rica's homicide rate is 10 per 100K. USA's right now is 4.7 per 100K. So I'd guess on the whole Costa Rica is more violent than United States, but then certain regions of USA have worse homicide rates. Louisiana's been consistently over 10, though it's been falling. Washington DC had a 40 at one point, now it's like 14, still higher. Then going even further, certain cities can have absolutely insane homicide rates here, ala Detroit, Flint, etc.
It really depends on what state, what city and what part of that city. There are plenty of areas around Las Vegas, Nevada and Tucson, Arizona that are extremely dangerous. Those are the two states that I have the most experience with, but I'm sure it gets MUCH worse in other states. Your best bet is to look poor and unimportant. Don't wear nice clothes and drive a cheap vehicle. Be fit/strong enough so as to not look like an easy target. I have lived in areas in the past that some would call "ghetto", but I survived by minding my own business, staying aware and blending in by looking poor and unimportant.
I never felt like I was in danger in Thailand...felt pretty safe there. There were areas in Manila and Quezon City (Philippines) where we had to be escorted everywhere. However, we walked freely and safely in Puerto Princessa, Philippines. Hong Kong felt very safe. Singapore felt as safe as one could feel...safer than practically anywhere in the USA. In many of these places, I even felt safe walking around after dark. There is hardly any city in the USA that I feel safe walking after dark...
Temprano, I disagree with you when you say that the U.S. is a safe place to live: most of the U.S. is crime-ridden, except for only the most wealthiest areas and neighborhoods in the country. I don't even feel safe in mostly White suburban areas either....
Most of Asia is MUCH safer than the anyplace in the United States. There is no comparison! I can literally walk alone at night, with no people around, and feel completely safe even in the most rural or urban parts of China. Same is true of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Macau as well. Can't say the same about the United States. ...
Sorry, but whoever told you the US is safe has lied. Look at any list of the top ten most dangerous cities in the world. Most are in America. America has the highest rates of gun violence in the world. 2 people murdered daily by gun in LA alone. Most Japanese, Koreans and Asians I know who visited said they felt it was too dangerous. Places like Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai won't even make the top 100 dangerous cities.
Even in most 3rd world locations, crime is mostly snatching, pickpocketing, robbery etc. Violent crime is rare, especially compared to the US.
Of course, the US is a big place. When I first went to Austin Texas, there was a murder, and it was a big deal. Basically, it doesn't happen everyday, like in LA, so people cared.
Believe it or not, some of the safest places in the world are actually rich muslim countries. No drinking, no drugs and punishments for crime are so severe no one wants to risk it.
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the US might be "safe" but it SUCKS BADLY in most other stuffâ€¦.. (and is not that safe!!!) in other countries u don't have to worry about a gun loving sicko coming and shooting everyone around just because he can!!!
I personally prefer a place like colombia where I know I better avoid some parts of the city but I live in vibrant, NORMAL culture where socially inept freaks, race obsession, political correctness american style are rare.
as far as danger goes, living in medellin is like living in DC or Chicago (you know there are hoods you avoid and that's it)
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The US does not have the highest rate of "Gun violence" in the world. There are many that far exceed the US- what it does have is the highest rate in the DEVELOPED world.
A little time in such places as Jamaica or Honduras is instructive.
As stated above- violence the US is highly segregated. If you are black or Latino, you are far more at risk. So much so, that it highly skews the overall rate of violence in the US.
If you are white, your chances of meeting a violent end are somewhat less than the overall
risk in Canada, which is considered a safe country.
Of course, this is not considered politically correct to say or notice this, even though
the crime stats are clear. Such denial insures the problem will continue.
SO JUST HOW DOES THE US RATE?
Perhaps it is helpful to look at information vs OPINION.
Here is a list of the 50 most violent cities in the world. 41 of the top 50 are in Latin America.
The USA cracks the list(pun intended) at number 17 with New Orleans. Big surprise here huh?
Other cities on the list are Detroit, St. Louis, Baltimore, and Oakland.
Well, I certainly wouldn't say that violent crime is rare in third world countries, especially not in Latin America. I spent a lot of time in Peru and the most common crimes that happen there are snatching (extremely common and is often violent as well) followed by armed robbery (very common as well). Express-kidnapping also happens a lot, where they hold you for a while and force you to withdraw money (happened to my Peruvian ex girlfriend).
From what I hear Asia is safer, but I don't really know because I have never been there.
America has the worlds largest prison population, in both per capita and raw numbers, and Americans are 800% more likely to be killed by the police than a terrorist, so the greatest threat to the average American is law enforcement.
I am white, and back in 2002, I lived in some of the worst areas of Philadelphia (Juniata Park, Kensington, and Frankford). I rarely had problems with blacks or latinos, but cops in Pennsylvania are world-class peckerheads. Remove about 700,000 clowns with badges and America aint such a bad place.
For the record, I felt more confident walking the streets of South Philly than I did in Kiev or Kherson. If you dont f**k with the minorities, they pretty much leave you alone. In Ukraine you can not let your guard down for a moment because local guys are just itching for an excuse to gut you and rob you simply because you are American.
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