Tuesday, January 21, 2014


The military, for whatever reason, makes everybody and their Mom take an anti-terrorism course before they move out of the country. In theory, it's a good idea. In time-wasting-practice, it sucked.

You know, except for this super cool certificate they gave me. Perhaps I should frame it?
I enjoy they put "A T." It makes it sound more mysterious. 

*****This isn't to say that terrorism isn't a big deal or a terrible thing. People are affected by it each day. It goes beyond the U.S. to engulf thousands of people all over the world. *****

What the military does is boil it down to a sad attempt to make you more vigilant and strike fear into your heart. What I took away from this course is that I get a house on Base and never, ever leave. 

If you think about it though, staying home is probably just as bad for you. 

A lot of it just seemed incredibly over protective, and when I got a questions wrong I was confused because I thought I had answered with common sense. 

Oh, so THIS is how we walk down the stairs! My bad! 

Here's just a small taste (and these weren't even the most ridiculous ones): Did you know you should avoid staying on the 3rd and 5th floor, etc,. of a hotel? Floors with pools or gyms on them? Anything with an adjoining door? Alright, so I don't feel totally comfortable with rooms with adjoining doors, but we talking about terrorist, not serial killers here. They aren't going to pop up in your bathroom. 

Next you should not use showers without locks on them. 

Also, avoid largely populated places, especially known places Americans congregate. How many places does that get rid of? Clearly I should never have attended school in a different country, or gone to the bar after class for a few drinks. Forget the Louvre, tours, and meet up groups. The Hash House Harriers, my drinking running club, would absolutely be out. 

The army sides with Fred. Let's split up, gang! 

And don't forget all protestors. Even if they are hippies. If you see one at a train stop you planned on getting off at, get back on the train and go to the next stop. Walking past them could prove dangerous. 

That friendly looking clown is actually a zombie unicorn robot loaded with C4. 
I can't help but scuff about this because some of the most fun I had when I lived in Hamburg, Germany was not on the list of to-dos. I couchsurfed (If you aren't familiar with this, it's a great way to travel. You stay in people's homes for FREE! And they would show you around. If I stayed several nights or had a great host, I'd often make/buy them dinner).

Besides, after hearing about how scary hotels can be, I'd rather stay in a house anyway. 

I hitchhiked, stayed in hostels, explored every nook of cities, and went for runs when I deemed it safe- it was an amazing adventure. 

I was going to put a GIF from Hostel here but looking at them freaked me out and make me want to throw up. Enjoy this scary skull from the back of my friend's motorcycle helmet.
Here's the thing people- if a terrorist wants to get you, he's not going to hide under your bed. He'll blow up the whole building. It's not likely he's not looking for you specifically.

Unless someone I've pissed off comes to get me, and does it ironically. 
The only point of the war on terrorism is so we can live without fear. Giving a  half thought out online "course" about random events isn't helpful. 

Yes, it's good to be vigilant, and yes we should be aware, especially in a foreign country. But don't waste my time telling me to lock my door and then waste paper on a certificate for it. 

We shouldn't go to new places thinking of threats. We should go in search of opportunity. 

"..And the human race is filled with passion!...Poetry, beauty, romance, love!
These are what we stay alive for!

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