Recently, my dear friend, an owner of the Investigation Agency in the United Kingdom, asked me to support him in an investigation in Italy and I, setting other investigations of my Italian Investigation Agency aside for a while, lent myself with pleasure. Even though we know each other for ages, this friend of mine and I have never met in Italy before and for him it was the first visit in my Bel Paese.
During the investigations I have realized (with a certain disappointment) that my friend, British Private Investigator, considered Italy to be a dangerous country, like another version of the Wild West. He, as the ex-policeman of Scotland Yard, was following (conditioned by his profession) only the crime news on the Italian TV channels, which led to his judgement of Italy as a country at risk.
During his Italian visit, he was asking me every morning if I was armed. And, despite the arsenal which I bring with me by habit everywhere, I have persuaded him to change his mind about Italy.
This prejudiced attitude of my friend made me a bit ashamed of myself, as I was also full of preconceived notions against many countries where I was going on behalf of the clients of my Italian Investigation Agency. Preconceived notions which usually change with the knowledge, that is travelling and knowing the communities from the inside.
In fact, the reputation of a country is never undeserved, when we consider the nation in its entirety. If the statistics give some signs of danger, it means that you need to take precautions in order to protect the detectives of the Italian Private Detective Agency on a mission. It is stupid to act in a politically correct and optimistic manner at all costs, because underestimating the risks will kill you while trying to get back the child of your client taken abroad by another parent, or while being committed to unmasking those responsible for the extortionate damage to a plant abroad, or while investigating a homicide that took place in a foreign country.
There are nations which for the cultural, historical or maybe even DNA reasons are more violent and dangerous than other. Nevertheless, the closer you get with these communities, the more you are able to distinguish and appreciate the healthy part of the society; it is a share of mild people that never ends up on the news, which deserves a great respect and consideration, especially because it is forced to coexist with the rotten group of its compatriots.
Many years ago, I was hit by a response of an elderly lady who was hosting us in her poor house in the slums, which enabled us to surveille an object who was otherwise unapproachable. We were in one of those nations where every sunrise brings new firearm fatalities, although officially there was no war. This nice lady was clearly trying to make some money by hosting us, but she refused my offer of paying her more than she wanted for all the risks she was taking. She added that she had been helping us a bit for money, but a bit for earning herself a place in paradise. I smiled and, when we raised the curtains, I left her an envelope of banknotes hidden in the cupboard with a note in her language “the Italian Private Investigator pays that much”.