Living cross-culturally is like waltzing in a potato sack . . . no matter how much agility, flexibility or grace you think you may have, in the end, you looks less like a ballerina and more like a lame kangaroo.
We are still in the midst of Harmatan Season . . . that's when the temperatures are bearable because the wind is blowing. And not just any wind, wind from the northeast that carry dust and sand from the Sahara-proper and deposits it in our tear ducts and nostrils, coats our teeth, fills our ear canals and hides under our finger nails.
Since the wind was roaring this morning, I decided against an African wrap-around skirt (that, and I still live by the First Rule of Therapy: no free shows!) and opted instead for a flowy down-to-my-mid-calf skirt that I purchased in 2008 when I first came to visit Galmi. But two steps outside and I knew I had made the wrong choice.
Every few feet I had to strike the MarilynMonroe pose . . . you know the one . . . over the subway grate. Yeah, that was me . . . only less glamorous and more covered with dirt.
Out of desperation, I tightly wrapped the folds of the skirt around me, bringing it closer to my knees. In that moment I wanted to tight-roll it at the bottom, much like how we wore our jeans in the '90's, but I knew that would expose my knee caps . . . and that would have been culturally incorrect . . . and so I didn't. But I wanted to.
Later, in the afternoon, I went to the market with some of our short-term folks. On our way back, we decided to cut through the hospital . . . as we went in, my Tsoho was coming out. I greeted him and introduced him to the other girls. We chatted for a few minutes; every so often he would grin at me and
I felt the impulse to just throw my arms around him and squeeze . . . but that would have been culturally incorrect . . . and so I didn't. But I wanted to.
Tonight, as I type this it is quiet . . . except for the man preaching. We have 31 minutes before today is tomorrow, and this guy is on his soapbox! And I don't know if it's my poor level of Hausa . . . or perhaps the scratching from his terrible amp . . . or maybe just that's it's 23:29 and I'm tired, but I'm feeling inclined to throw on my flip-flops, grab a flashlight and walk in my pajamas to hunt down this man, snap his mic in two and shout 'DUDE!! REALLY?!?!' . . . but that would be culturally incorrect . . . so I won't. But I really, REALLY, want to.
Now, where did I put those earplugs??