When we went on a quick trip to Las Vegas last month, I decided to take the kids over to M&M World at about 11:00 a.m. on a Friday morning. I figured that would be a safe time of day to walk down a short portion of the “strip”. I had no idea what an education they would get in just a block or two! There were showgirls advertising their stuff, flyers for “entertainment” being passed around, flashing billboards, and a really big man dressed in a showgirl costume shouting obscenities. This was all just right outside the m&m shop. It wasn’t a great experience but we brushed it off and had fun anyway. When we got back to our room, my daughter said “this is the scariest place I’ve ever been!” She asked me if I agreed. I told her it was crazy for sure, but I didn’t think it was the scariest place I had ever been in. She wanted to know what could top that?
This was a different kind of scary, but I immediately thought of walking down a street in Athens, Greece in June of 1989 while I was on a study abroad program. I was with a two other 19 and 20 year old girls and we were naively walking around like we had done in all the other cities we had visited. Our teacher/guide was pretty hands-off and let us pretty much go where we wanted. He didn’t realize or warn any of us that it was a time of unrest right around the elections. I think it might have been the day of the elections? We were exploring quiet streets and wondered why there wasn’t anyone around? We turned a corner and almost ran right into a heavily armed soldier who looked very menacing. He put his hands on his large gun/rifle thingy. I don’t know the terminology for weapons, but I had never seen anything like it. He told us that we should not be out walking around and motioned at us to get out of there. I remember having a very icky feeling that he could shoot me right there on the spot and no one in the world would know where I was or that I was in danger. We high-tailed it back to our hotel and warned the other students. I never told my parents what happened and I’m pretty sure my Mom is shaking her head as she reads this.
I’ve had a few minor scary experiences over the years, but that was what came to my mind when my daughter asked me her question. What do you think of when someone asks “what’s the scariest place you’ve ever been?” Something interesting to think about on a Memory Monday!