Is this neighborhood safe

A few months ago whilst shopping at Timor, I got to chatting with a fellow (cause , people hang out and chat @ the Timor) about a question. He was saying he was talking with a guy about become a roommate and the guy had asked if the neighborhood was safe. I get that question too when looking for roommates. I hate that question.
I feel safe, but I don’t know about you
Most of the time when I’m walking back from the metro after work, I feel safe enough. But I’m aware. I’m aware that muggings and other street crimes occur. And I remain somewhat aware of my surroundings, though Jimbo and I disagree on if I’m still aware with one earphone in my ear. Most of the time I feel safe enough, within reason.
However, when I get the question, “Do you feel safe around here?” I tend to dissect the question. I still have a reference textbook from library school with a section on questions. The problem is some questions that people ask are not the right questions to get to the information they want to know. So the question I think they are really asking is if they would feel safe around here. And I really can’t answer that well.
I can’t answer it because, typically I don’t know the person well enough. I don’t know what risks they take. Do they walk home after 10PM, at 1AM? Sober, buzzed or drunk? Do they constantly walk and yabber on their cell phone or zone out with their ipod? Do they have a car? How well do they lock their bike? But I do answer the question, and depending on my mood determines the answer I give. And really the neighborhood is as safe as you are.