Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Uppity but good

Way back when I first came back from Botswana, I feared I’d become “one of those horrible people who says things like, “well, in Africa, things are completely different.” And, “everything is so commercial in America.” And, “you wouldn’t understand. It’s an African thing.”

Actually, I wasn’t sure what I meant by that.

I knew there was a type though. Something about people who’d been someplace exotic and were far too smug about it. But I couldn’t quite put my finger on what changed when they came home.

Well now I’ve spent nearly eight months in Senegal, and I’ve finally understood. It’s not that they come home different. It’s that they GET home differently.

They (and by they, let’s be clear, I mean me) don’t need no stinking airplane, because they (and, remember, I mean me) are far more comfortable on their high horse.

You think you got troubles? Well me and my high horse are here to tell you, it’s NOTHING compared to what we deal with over ‘n Africa. (Which, for the purpose of this moment, I will fail to point out is actually comprised of dozens of countries with thousands of languages and ethnic groups and widely varying economic statuses and levels of development. Because that is a horse of a totally different smugness.)

Daily grind getting you down? Well at least you have a JOB! And MONEY! And ELECTRICITY! Not like the POOR, UNEMPLOYED MASSES in Africa.

Annoyed that you now have to spend hours in line at security at the airport, and then they threw away all your make-up? Well cry me a river, baby, because there may be no security screening for the bush taxi, but you’re still going to wait hours for it to go, and your make-up’s all going to melt anyway, because it’s HOT here and those cars don't got no air con.

Can’t you just picture the fun that I am to be around? Th-------is much fun. Times a hundred. Am I right?

But sadly, only a select few of you got to see my charming smuggery in person. So, to share the joy all around, I thought I’d blog it.

And thus, without further ado, I bring you:

The Five Things You (Yes, YOU, the person I’ve never met, whose life I know nothing about, who could very well never have even been to the US, YOU are the person I’m judging) Don’t Appreciate Enough About America


Okay, so here’s the thing.

I pretty much wrote this post in my head back when I was in America. And I had all sorts of things that I was going to include in this list.

I vaguely remember something about well-paved, multilane highways, and the joys of cruising at 65 mph (not a hair faster, thanks Mr. Traffic Cop) with terrible American radio blasting at full volume.

And I’m sure I was going to say something about summer fruit (which I caught the tail end of ). Farmer’s Market peaches. Yum.

But frankly, I’m annoying myself with all this high horsery, and I’m afraid the humor impaired among us might miss the irony, and think I’m really this horrible. Out loud.

Plus, I’ve been back for about three weeks, and it just doesn’t seem that important any more.

I hereby promise (completely insincerely) to post far more frequently in the coming weeks. I need to update y'all about the shoe drive, of course. Plus I have lots of stories.

If I'm feeling REALLY brave, I might even take a picture of the world's scariest spiders that have invaded my neighborhood. They're bigger than my hand, and their webs are bigger than my apartment. For a girl who has always been spider-phobic, this is pretty much my worst nightmare made reality. The pinky finger grasping desperately at my sanity has only held on this long thanks to the fact that these monsters (SO FAR) have only been spotted outdoors. Heaven help me if I ever find one in my apartment.


No seriously. Gah.

Anywho, in the meantime, if you're looking for more of my wit and charm, feel free to news google me, where you'll find several more Voice of America stories, and, inshallah, articles published elsewhere in the not too distant future. (If I don't pimp me, who will?)

It's nice being back.


Blogger susie said...

Hey Noames. Good to hear from you, ms uppity :)
I didn't send my shoes because I started a walking club at school and needed my second pair. Now that sounds like a line from your post. Ugh. Anyway, glad to hear you are home again. Great news about the new articles. Wish you were going to be around for the MCM this weekend...I'll let Jeanne yell at me this time!

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Caren said...

Wow, great to hear from you! Can't wait to hear about the spiders. Just in time for Halloween.

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Margaret said...

Sure, there are no giant spiders in America, but then, you would have no giant spider story, would you? I'm dying to come up with my own scary travel stories and I'm wondering if you have a post, or any other info about how you landed in Africa. I have been a reporter until very recently, and want to live abroad. I'm looking at Russia. I would love to earn a few bucks abroad freelancing. How did you manage to sell your stuff?

2:10 PM  
Blogger Noames said...

Too true, Margaret. There's a reason I'm here, and avoiding spiders isn't one of them.

Email me if you want to talk about freelancing overseas. Not sure I'm the success story you're looking for to inspire you to take the leap, but I'd be happy to share what I know. My email address is in my blogger profile.

8:01 AM  
Blogger jeanne said...

I was ON THE EDGE of my seat, waiting for my FIVE THINGS!!! no fair!! Now I have a kid about to come home who's already telling me, via e-mail, that "In Spain, we do it this way." And whatever it is, I bet it IS better that way.

Fun times!

11:49 PM  

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