Less safety precautions in many countries…How do we protect ourselves?…

The contrast of the satellite dishes again the backdrop of the setting sun is odd to see.

Yesterday, we posted a photo of a horse we’d seen in the Big Square with a bloodied neck most likely as a result from the constant rubbing of a heavier harness he normally wore when pulling the carriage, day after day.

Reposting it on Facebook as I often do, we received many horrified comments. One in particular caught my eye, prompting the content of today’s post, written by our niece Kari, “Wish laws were in place to prevent animal abuse like it is in the USA. Poor thing!”

The mosque, lighted at sunset.

Oh, do we wish the same, not only for animals but, also for the safety of people, both locals, and travelers? As we began our travels visiting more and more countries, we were surprised at times by the lack of regulations in place for the safety and well being of the public, all so familiar to us in our lives in the US. 

Now, we are no longer surprised, having learned to carefully assess situations, adapting our behavior to comply with the conditions on hand to ensure our own safety.

The orange juice vendor is ready for the evening rush as the crowds begin to fill the Medina at night on the weekend.

In a few cases, we’ve been happy to see a lack of laws such as in South Africa, where it is not illegal to park one’s car on the shoulder of the highway in order to pee discretely in the bushes on the side of the road. 

In the US, one could be arrested for “indecent exposure” possibly resulting in a criminal record as a “sexual offender.” Good grief, what does one do when stuck in traffic for hours?  Let’s face it! We’re a growing generation of baby boomers and senior citizens who may not be able to hold it for hours. 

As one perceives about Morocco, lighting is a big factor in creating an inviting ambiance both at home and in public places.

I won’t get into a discussion over the fact that they are too many laws in the US in an effort for the government to rule our lives. I won’t get out the soapbox for this potentially heated topic. But, I will say that there are many laws and regulations in place in the US and many other developed countries that, without a doubt, protect us from harm from ourselves and others.

Here are some of the general areas which we’ve taken for granted in our own countries, which may not be available in other countries as one travels:
1.  Provisions or adaptations available for the disabled.
2.  Considerations made available for seniors.
3.  Even steeps and pavement in both private and public places with appropriate handrails.
4.  Sanitary conditions in public areas.
5.  Restrooms in public areas.
6.  Safe-to-consume foods in most restaurants.
7.  Traffic safety, including roads being patrolled, proper signage, and warnings when necessary. Seatbelt and child seats and restraints requirements.
8.  Inspection requirements when building and remodeling properties, including regulations for rental properties. (continued below photo)

Many of the structures were built over 500 years ago.

9.   Water consumption safety. The public water may not be potable for visitors in many countries.
10.  Alternate electrical plugs for which travelers may not be prepared resulting in shock, injury, or death.
11.  Rapid emergency medical response. Availability of quality medical care.
12.  Easy availability of a means by which to refill a lost of forgotten prescription or medical devices.
13.  Readily available access to phone and Internet services.
14.  Language barriers making communication impossible in emergency situations.
15.  Adequate police visibility and protection in high-risk areas and situations.
16.  Laws and regulations applicable to the care of animals, both wild and domestic. Emergency veterinary services.

Early in the day, the souks aren’t crowded, an ideal time to get out for a walk.

Well, I could go on and on with the differences we encounter in our travels. In many countries, there are no laws regulating many of the above items. As a result, we take it upon ourselves to carefully examine the risks before traveling to determine if our willing adaptation will suffice to ensure a safe, healthy, and memorable experience.

Each day, as we head out, wherever we may live, we take the responsibility to examine our surroundings, assessing the necessary measures we must take for our protection. 

The further and further away from the most popular areas, the less the crowds, although one must carefully watch for fast-moving motorbikes and carts with donkeys.

If unsure of one’s ability to freely adapt to these possible differences, traveling in pre-arranged tour groups or to more modern environments may be more suitable.

Today, as we head out for the afternoon, we put our bodies and minds on high alert as we look forward to yet another enjoyable day.

Photo from one year ago today, April 7, 2013:

This palm tree tipped into the sea after a storm during the night as we took our last walk on the beach before leaving Belize two days later. For the full story from that date, please click here.

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