Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Cultural Adjustment and A Coveted Mango
Today I was pleasantly surprised when I went out to the market. I decided to make the 25 minute walk there because I desperately need exercise and I plugged my ears with my tunes, partly because that's how I always exercise and partly so I wouldn't hear the boda boda guys call out at me...it's interesting as I left the house, I was thinking about a post I would write about the infuriating word "mzungu." Instead I am writing this little post in surprise.
I actually enjoyed my trip to the market today! Hope is restored! Ok, I know, tomorrow can change and I might be frustrated again but for now I'm going to revel in this unexpected moment of...optimism.
I had a very pleasant exchange with the woman at the NWSC office when I went to pay my water bill. Unexpected. After several times buying food from the same woman in the market, I finally asked her name, Medina. AND she had mangoes when mangoes are rare right now. I saw our supermarket friend Ivan again and chatted a little. And while my boda friend, Patrick helped me buy airtime, another boda asked me, "so, you're still around?" People are getting to know me.
I guess, being in the city, it just takes longer to get to know people but it's helping. To have some friends who know my name, and don't call me "mzungu" makes me feels a lot less lonelier.
Anyway, if you're at all interesting in knowing how it feels sometimes to live in another culture after all the warm fuzzy feelings have faded, read the following blog post I found. Just insert the word Uganda for Mexico. This author amazingly describes the "Never-Ending Cycles of Cultural Adjustment" in such an honest, real, and amusing way. So, check it out. And thanks for reading.