rotating header

Sunday, March 29, 2009

You know you're not in Kansas when . . .

  • You come home and find a dead snake on the porch, left not to frighten but to comfort, that someone found it and KILLED it.
  • You are turning in an expense report with a line item for "bows and arrows" for the night watchmen.
  • You buy the national paper, and the lead article discusses which body parts are most favored by witch doctors for rituals.
  • You drive by baboons on your way home.
  • You attend a training workshop on nutrition, and walk in to find the current topic is breastfeeding, specifically teaching mothers to express milk from the breast when babies are too sick or premature to suck well . . . and the matronly triple-D size nurses who are teaching have no qualms about handling their own breasts, and in fact they take a sock to make a pretend breast for the males in the class . . and the males happily practice with the sock, not a shade of embarrassment. Only Nathan and I were having trouble stifling our hilarity while everyone else was quite serious.
  • You note in the same training seminar that the demonstration doll is so life-like, that no one can bear to leave it lying on the table, so students keep passing it around and holding it like a real baby.
  • You find yourself housed in a shadily seedy motel (bare bulbs, dark stairs, lights that blink and send shocks into the shower water, but hey at least there IS a shower) of about ten rooms, conveniently located right at the busiest intersection in town so you can hear every truck all night decelerate and honk its horn.
  • You have to pay extra for instant passport photos for a form, because the power is out and the photo studio has to turn the generator on.
  • You have to check five stationery stores to find a paper clip (but it is not so onerous, because all five tiny shops are on the same block).
  • You wave happily to the police as they pull a nail-studded log out of the road for you to pass, because you know their road-block in a forested area is not a speed trap but rather a security measure in an area where thugs recently carried out an armed ambush.
  • You meet someone while waiting to make a purchase who shows off a brand new"50 BILLION DOllAR NOTE" -- which is worth only ten cents because it is from Zimbabwe.
  • You are awakened by friendly phone calls at 4 am because the phone rates reduce by 90% or more in the middle of the night, and Africans value both relationship and the economy necessary for survival.
(All of this really happened in the last 48 hours).

1 comment:

Frank J. Kraljic said...

This is great! Got me thinking what an African local would find odd/humorous if visiting the States.

You know you're not in Africa when...

- You're standing beside a couple making-out in public.

- You have the cops called on you leaving a bakery with bread after explaining to the shop owner you'd return with money.

- You try to enter a restaurant that has a sign "no shirt, no shoes... no service."

- Your prescription bill for amoxycycline is $80 USD.

I'm sure I could come up with more, but I'm getting progressively sadder with each one.