Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Safety at the Roman theater

The last time I attended a performance at the Roman theater I decided that was it. I would not do that again. Parking was impossible, crowds were uncontrolled, people pushed, and to top it off the show started 45 minutes late! It was chaos verging on dangerous. Two nights ago my granddaughter went with her cousins to the opening of the Annual Children’s Congress in Roman theater. The following is her account of that experience:

“The walk towards the theater was expected to be a rough rocky road, but the entrance however, surprised me to be a fight of the bulls. People were waving their tickets screaming at the guards to let them through the doors, but all the guards pushed the crowd towards one small entrance. Twenty angry heads turned into a countless angry mob all on a small platform, forgetting about small children and steps behind them. Fights broke out and guards carelessly shoved intruders  back into the crowd causing a domino effect where husky men fell on women and children and left them screaming in pain on the floor. Instead of having an organized line, the guards simply yelled for only women and children to pass through making the men of the family angry for being left behind. Once through this tornado of fear in the one small entrance, the crowd was led into a small tunnel. Being claustrophobic, I was hoping the riot passed me, but I was deeply mistaken. The scene made people go mad; men no longer cared if they pushed women and hurt them. Everyone became selfish to get him or herself first to the entrance, by elbowing, stepping over youngesters, and screaming their way through. At the front of the tunnel,  men surrounded the door and the guards were yelling for only females to enter but where were all the men supposed to go? Were they supposed to just grow wings and fly out of the way? No one was entering the gates and the tunnel was getting hotter and smaller by the seconds. People were sandwhiched onto each other in agony. There was no turning back for those who wanted to escape this horrific scene. I started to panic. I had room for only one arm and had to keep my other one in the air as more men and women shoved their way against me to get through. Elbows were in my chest, hard shoes were on my toes, and I had strangers breathing down my neck. I started to scream. I became an animal, losing all human respect, to reach safety. As I finally reached arms length distance to the door, one of the security guards wanted to pull me through the gate. My cousin was trying to lift me to aid me to my rescue, but the tough army guard yelling at everyone was too busy pushing men that his elbow dug straight into my cheek bone! Tears streamed down my face! Did I actually just get hit in the face and go through a dangerous mob to see my friend dance for ten minutes? If Julia Roberts was handing out gold flowers at the end of the tunnel, I would still not go through the riot again. Holding my cheek in pain, I breathed fresh air. Finally I was out!”  



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