Yesterday I had some moments that seem to express the local culture here in Prove. And it does not reflect well on my religion (shared by over 90% of folks here), so I find myself rather disturbed. Provo’s nickname is “Happy Valley,” and there seems to be an underlying attitude that nothing bad ever happens here, or that consequences don’t apply here.
The first moment was at 8:38am when I dropped my husband Batman off at his company’s Provo office. Now when I say “his company,” I mean that literally. He started the company 10 1/2 years ago and it has grown to five offices in the US and one in Manila, with around 20 employees. It is a multi-million dollar operation. And it’s his good name on the sign. Batman Industries.
Now with that said, he emailed everyone in the Provo office last week to tell them he would be working out of their office this week. Yet on this particular morning, when the boss has a report to get out by 2pm to please the top client, there is NO ONE at the office to let him in. He called the folks who were supposed to be there. They offered no explanation, no excuse, and they still do not understand why the boss was so insistent that he have access to the building with his own blinking name on it! Should he have called them at home on Sunday evening to remind them? Are they seven?
I thought I was overreacting. You know, the boss’s wife gets her knickers in a twist over a teeny little thing, but then the rest of my day happened.
While driving around Provo I saw multiple incidences of small children (age 10 or younger) riding bikes, skateboards, or walking unaccompanied across the crosswalks of the city’s busiest intersections. You just don’t see that in Florida. I’m not saying it’s wrong, but it does reflect a more relaxed attitude toward danger.
The absolute clincher occurred while I was waiting for the kids to come out of the theater. I was seated in my running vehicle when the front right corner of my car was struck by a small gray car pulling into the spot next to me. The small car immediately pulled through the parking spot and sped away. Luckily he only bumped my tire. I hope he received moisture damage to his vehicle due to his own weak bladder, a match to his weak character. Apparently this type of hit-and-run is extremely common here.
My long-winded point is, when you go through life thinking that nothing bad could ever happen in Happy Valley, you are ill-equipped to handle minor crises like a visiting boss or an auto mishap, let alone a major crisis like an injured/kidnapped/missing/killed unattended child.