June 06, 2006

Torn between outrage and hilarity.

After three years of living in this neighborhood, I've finally been galvanized by the constant sexual harassment and occasional followings-home to get myself some pepper spray. A couple of weeks ago I went online and ordered some from Defending Women (on the logic that no company that shares my initials can be bad). Then I waited for it to arrive, which it didn't. After almost two weeks I emailed the company and asked them if they could track the shipment.

Today they emailed back and gave me the post office's tracking information. The package was delivered to my house last Wednesday, but when I got home Wednesday afternoon it wasn't on the porch.

Wait for it...

Wait for it...

That's right, someone stole my pepper spray off my porch. Ladies and gentlemen, South Berkeley. Unfortunately, it will be here much longer than all week.

Posted by dianna at June 6, 2006 05:54 PM

Wow. I feel kind of stupid admitting this, but this is one of the few times when a "Wait for it...Wait for it..." prefaced something that I actually didn't expect.

Maybe I wasn't reading closely enough.

Anyway, good luck with getting the pepper spray and, hopefully, regardless of whether or not that works out, you're left in peace, in general.

Also, as someone moving to Berkeley soon for school, I'm glad for another reason to indulge in an apartment on the north side of campus.

Posted by: Chester at June 6, 2006 07:41 PM

North Side's pretty alright, but somewhat sparse in terms of commercial establishments. Also: depending on where you live, there's a good chance you'll be at the top of a steep hill. And North Berkeley has the worst-maintained sidewalks I've ever seen.

That didn't stop me living there for 4 years, though, but I like to kvetch.

Posted by: Zach S. at June 6, 2006 07:54 PM

eek! did they steal jacob's cd and contact solution off the porch too? i left them there this afternoon.

Posted by: michele at June 6, 2006 08:02 PM

Chester, you can be south of campus without being in South Berkeley. South Berkeley, as I define it and as I've observed it, is the mile or so from around Derby or Ward to the Oakland border. Anything north of that is more downtown and a bit less screwed up. That said, I've never lived on Northside but have always wanted to. You should probably go for it.

Michele, no, they didn't steal the CD or contact stuff. I came home and was bewildered by their presence.

Posted by: Dianna at June 6, 2006 08:56 PM

whew! sigh of relief.

Posted by: michele at June 6, 2006 11:35 PM

do you (and any of the other ladies reading this) want to be involved if i set up one or a series of self-defense classes for us to take? one class isn't going to shift the balance physically if someone comes at you but on this trip i heard a lot of women talking about situations that were kind of borderline. like what do you do if some guy starts masturbating at you on bart? do you yell or play it cool? it's weird but is it actually threatening? it would be nice to get stats and stuff on the best ways to handle things like that.

anyway if enough people are interested i will try and find some east bay evening classes.

Posted by: didofoot at June 7, 2006 07:23 AM

depends on how much it costs. and where it is. and whether it starts in the next two weeks. try to make it start not in the next two weeks AND be cheap AND on tuesday or wednesday evenings in the east bay (oakland/berkeley)

Posted by: michele at June 7, 2006 07:46 AM

I'd be interested, but I'll be gone from this Sunday to the end of July. So if it hasn't happened yet by the time I get back, count me in. And like Michele, I do like cheap.

Posted by: Dianna at June 7, 2006 07:50 PM

Thanks for the feedback. I'm cool with the mix of retail north of campus, even though, yeah, it's kind of limited in various ways. Don't need everything available in walking proximity -- just a fair selection of diversions so I don't feel like I'm in the 'burbs. (Where I am now.)

I share the same definition of South Berkeley as you, Dianna...I realize that South of Campus is still kind of north-centralish or even north-ish. But, in some ways, I feel like I'd rather be in South Berkeley than South of Campus. Well...probably not, but I'd like to think I would.

I have friends living near Milvia and Channing and, even thereabouts, they've had security issues. According to them, north side of campus is considered a bit less prone to stuff like break-ins and, whether or not that's true, my personal observation is that the environment is just plain pleasanter.

But I probably just feel that way because I've apparently become a yuppie. Quite disconcerting, but I've decided to not fight some of the symptoms of the disease.

As for the self-defense classes, anything I write, I think, will come off as obvious pedantry, so I'll just wish y'all luck in finding a class that'll help y'all out.

Posted by: Chester at June 7, 2006 09:48 PM