Bullet Proof

I picked up Miss B and her friend from school today and buckled them in as any loving, responsible mother would.  Not even a minute went by when Miss B's little 5yr old friend piped up and asked, "Is this car bullet proof?".  "Yes, it is.  Do you have a bullet proof car?"  "All of our cars are bullet proof."  Then Miss B says, "Mom, it's hot!  Can you roll down the windows?!" To which her friend replies, "Don't you know the back windows in bullet proof cars don't go down??"  ...welcome to São Paulo!  One of the rare cities in this world where regular citizens feel the need to protect themselves behind a tank of steel and inches (literally!) of glass.  With a built in alarm system to alert the outside world of help, and the option to project your voice on an external speaker system in case you desire to shout your issues from the safety of your vehicle (ex. "Me ajude! Um homem louco é tentando invadir meu carro impenetrável com uma marreta e uma metralhadora!" aka "Help me! A crazy man is trying to break into my impenetrable car with a sledgehammer and a machine gun!").  Okay, really it's quite cool, but controversial here as well:

Side A - "I WOULD ONLY DRIVE AN ARMORED CAR":  With the obvious crime all over the city and desperate conditions of literally millions of civilians here, I would be foolish to drive anything but an armored car.  I am an obvious target and would rather be safe than sorry.

Side B - "I WOULD NEVER DRIVE AN ARMORED CAR": If I flaunt the wealth, it makes me more of a target and less safe.  At some point I will be getting out of my car, and if they want me bad enough, they'll get me!  An armored car shows I have something worth hiding, and therefore worth stealing.

Honestly, I can understand both ways, and having driven both an armored and unarmored car here in São Paulo, I can say that I agree with both in their respective ways.  The car I typically drive is not armored and I have never felt like I needed bullet proof glass while driving around.  However, with my regular, unarmored car in the shop, we have been given a temporary armored Mercedes GLK and the thing is a TANK!  I feel confident that I could take on a bus and most likely win!  But at the same time, it does attract attention that my other car did not..

So, the question remains - Armored or unarmored?  I think I'll stick with my normal ride for now.. even though this beast has been fun, I prefer to be able to open and close my doors without using my ENTIRE body!


  1. What a weird situation to be in. My husband lived abroad and had to worry about things like that in South Africa.

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