Monday, January 20, 2014

What's Wrong with this Picture

Hubby and I both had to stop at the ATM. I was focused on our breakfast destination because I was incredibly hungry, which made me less observant of my surroundings. I was about to walk to the car when he pointed out that someone left their children in the car with its engine on. We looked around to see if a parent was around. No one people were at the ATM machine. Without hesitation he went into the bank to alert someone. I stayed outside in front of the car, looking around to see if someone would come out soon. 

Two children in the back seat, an infant and a toddler, not at all in distress, actually entertaining themselves, but something was not right. Sure, we might be in a safe neighborhood, but no where is absolutely safe and to leave two children unattended in an idling car doesn't seem right. Children are kidnapped all the time; cars stolen.

There were words exchanged in the bank. Hubby asked for security and told them about unattended children. A man–the man spoke up in an angry tone and said they were his and that who was he to judge. Hubby said indeed he was judging and it wasn't right to leave his children in a running car without anyone there. Shortly after that is when they came out those doors. He said the women in the bank gasped, they seemed in disbelief.

I look over at the bank doors to see if anyone is coming out. Out comes a man of about 35, hubby behind him walking towards me, shaking his head. The man reaches into the car with the children, turns off the ignition, and hurriedly goes back into the bank.

I asked if the man at least had a view out to the car. No, his back was to the door. 

What was most shocking to my hubby is that the man clearly did not think there was anything wrong in his decision.

We went on our way. The children remained alone for however long the man needed to clear up his banking business. They would probably be fine.

But really, Sir, you should be more careful in the future!


Optimistic Existentialist said...

I cannot believe he didn't see anything wrong with this? So sad and scary. Sometimes these situations do not have happy endings :(

Ryan said...

Shit, I wouldn't have left the boy alone in the car, let alone running, until he was like 8. It's not difficult, I get out the kids get out too. Of course it's a pain in the ass, but it's not really seen option. People! You did right.

Rebb said...

I really is sad and scary. I think people have this idea that there are places that are exempt from harm. Wake up!

You're so right. It may be a pain in the ass, but there is no option. And to think there are probably people doing this every day putting their children in danger. It's like they don't realize they have this precious life in their care.

keiko amano said...


He must be from relatively safe country like Japan or Taiwan.
Long ago, a Taiwanese colleague of mine got a ticket when she left her baby in her car in Los Angeles while she went into a department store. She said she couldn't believe getting a ticket for it. I was 26 and shocked to learn that she did something against the law. She was from a good family, well educated. I sympathized her and also horrified.

That's how I learned the US law and how Americans feel and see things, and how high the crime rates are here. Up to that time, I only heard of a kidnap case once in Japan.

In Japan, even today, small children travel alone on train, subway, and bus to go to school, and foreigners are astonished seeing them.

This kind of culture shock has never really disappeared from me. For instance, I'm not scared walking in darkness while American women would be horrified.

Of course, this does not mean it's okay to leave young children in the car or walk in darkness. On the contrary, they are not good, and we should be cautious for best result.

keiko amano said...


Did you get married? If so, congratulation! I think I missed it.

Rebb said...

Keiko, Thanks for providing a different perspective. That's very interesting that there seems to be a very low incidence of child kidnappings or crime. It makes my mind spin around and look at the different cultural reasons this could be the case.

We not only have problems with kidnapping, but there have been incidents where parents have left their children in the car during summer time and the babies died because it got too hot. Can you imagine? Near the local library, not too long ago, a child of about 7 or 8 was almost kidnapped while the mother was nearby. Luckily when a strange man came up and tried to take the child, the child screamed ant he mother intervened. It's too bad that we have to be so careful. It's everyone. There are rapes and muggings that happen on trails where people run and walk.

It's nice to hear how safe it seems to be in Japan. It's shocking to me. I can appreciate how you experience culture shock, given what you are used to.

p.s. Yes, I did get married--thank you for the congratulations. : )

keiko amano said...


Congratulation on your marriage!!!

I'm very happy for you and your husband.



Rebb said...

Thank you, Keiko!!!