Saturday, July 18, 2009

Expat Existence and then some

I have been in the expat way for 9 years now.

Wow. Surprised myself there a little bit.

Let's take a moment to reflect.

I really do like that episode of South Park with Oprah's minge, and Gary, her A-hole. Hahahahaha. I wonder if Oprah laughed when she saw it? I wonder if Oprah can sing? Didn't she sing with Tina Turner? Lala lala lala tonight. Wait a minute, that's NKOTB... Oh dammit, got distracted again. Play it cool now. I don't think anyone noticed. I didn't laugh out loud did I, or sing? Play serious now....

Thanks.

As much as I feel like living in Africa (by which I mean 3 of the 53 countries - a fair generalization, don't you think?) is exactly like living anywhere else in the world there have been some things I wasn't expecting to be as tough or as difficult as they've been, and then again there have been some things I was expecting to rattle me, but which have turned out to be a walk in the park category things after all.

Oprah's minge. Hahahahahahahaha. That is some funny shit, that is. Hahahahahaha. I should really buy some NKOTB on iTunes. I'll be lovin' you fah eva... Oh. Yeah. Focus... 

Upon leaving Mexico (A departure that still makes me cry. For reals.) I was looking forward to landing in a country where I wouldn't have to spend the first couple of months on brushing up the language. (Spanish verb conjugation can be used as a form of torture, especially if combined with electric shocks.) Because in SA everyone would be speaking English, right? Not quite.

Voy, vas, va, vamos, van. Yup still got it. Maybe I should read more in Spanish though? What is taking so long with downloading that NKOTB CD? I wanna hear Tonight. NOW! Lala lala lala tonight. Yeah, that hits the spot. I wonder if the small one of them speaks any Spanish? Nah, his eyes are too pale blue...

What?!?

Oh.

I don't have the faintest idea why or how or in what universe, but for some reason South Africa seems to feel I look like I should be either addressed in Afrikaans, or failing that in Tsotsitaal, the township slang. English would just be lost on me. Uhhuh. Now, I know most days I am the spitting image of a township shebeen-queen (especially when I do my hair), but Afrikaans? Come on folks. Don't be making me into a Boer. Please.

Boer - bore. No, shouldn't make that joke. Someone might get hurt, and it's a little on the boring side too. Hahahaha. Oprah's minge. That is just too funny. Nothing beats that. Nothing beats Oprah's minge.... Hahahahahaha. Ow, that shit hurts my stomach.

Snort.

I know. That's it. I promise.

I do like the African sky. And luckily there is a lot of it to like, and often.

Post-Mexico I was also looking forward to not immediately being pegged as the outsider, or Zeus forbid, a gringa. Still, I wasn't prepared for what inclusion in the general population, particularly in South Africa could or would mean.

Getting just a tad serious... Lighten up. 

Lala lala lala tonight. I still have my awesome dance moves. maybe I should get N'SYNC's 'God must have spent a little more time on you'. I could do that choreography all day long...

Okay. Not that much of lightening up, please. Stay on task.

And for Zeus's sakes, stop dancing woman. You look ridiculous.    

Regardless of how good it feels to live in a place, where you don't get the feeling that someone is watching you from the corner of their eye to see whether the g├╝erita will do something stupid or better yet, say something stupid, like call the reception guard cochina, a dirty little pig, when she meant to say that she is expecting a dishwasher repair guy for that 'machine in the cocina, the kitchen, there are certain sides to being included that will definitely throw you for a loop. That you wish would not ever come up. Things that are assumed you condone just because of the way you look.

Like the outright racism.

Which makes you sick to your stomach.

Why is the N'SYNC stuff not downloading? What? Why? 

Oh, click on 'Buy'. I'll just do that then. 

Bye Bye Bye is good too. What is this? "you already own Bye Bye Bye." Since when? Who keeps buying me music? Drunk Extranjera, I'll get you for this...

However, there have been some positive surprises as well. If you know the real world me (which most of you don't, but rest assured she's not much different from the blog me. Perhaps a little nicer [I've been told] and a little more dangerous, since she can actually get to you other than with words and with something on wheels), you know that I'm not much of a driver. Or, actually I'm too much of a driver for my own good. And if you thought that my thoughts (oooh, look at all the pretty birds up there... see that kid picking his nose in that car) get in the way of my blogging, just imagine what happens when I'm less than comfortably behind the wheel of metal box. I know. Quite horrifying. 

Still, driving in South Africa, after having gotten used to driving in Mexico City is, like I said, a total walk in the park, a barefoot walk in the park, with a blindfold on, and balloons and butterflies making the park all happy, and absolutely no screaming kids or actually anyone else in the park. 

And I thought I would never be able to drive stick with the gearshift on my left side while driving on the left side of the road. 

No problem. Apparently the left hand might be good for something else than picking the left side of one's nose after all.

What? 

Has the internet died on me. AGAIN. For foks sake, yes it has. Big FOK and a little follow FOK. FOK FOK FOK and fok.

And I'm halfway through downloading Metallica's Enter Sandman. 

Aww.

I know I jinxed it with my happy. Should have just kept my happy to myself. That's what you get.

Argh! 

Universe?

Please.

10 comments:

Rosalina said...

Lovely post.

I wish I could go see Africa once.

Cyndy said...

Thanks. Now all of these tunes are going to be bouncing around in my head all day! Sandman probably would have made the playlist anyway since that is on my "Get Up and Clean" list (it never fails to get you going), but mixed with all of those pretty boys? I dunno...

In all of the places you have been, where is that you felt most of out place? Which felt like home the moment you landed?

monica said...

Superb writing :)
Loved it

gabfab aka poor speller said...

i'm an expat, and extranjera too, but in uh-me-rikah. i think they call us, howyousay, immigrants here(?) i like it, it has a nice patronizing ring to it dont you think? anywho, way enjoyed your post. thanks for sharing your experiences. stop by mine anytime.

lacherie_17 said...

Wonderful entry! I love your blog, and am so glad I have been following it.

XO
Lashawn

Vancouver's Enviro Girl said...

I was just thinking yesterday about how difficult it would be to shift (no pun intended) to right-side drive cars. Eek! Good for you for persevering. Universe is obviously thrown by our attempts at positivity :) Lots of love!

leel said...

hi!

great post. the driving thing freaks me out completely. but that would in any new place. the other side of the street thing scares me to pieces.

i have always wanted to live in africa. since i was a small child in fact. as a result i have always assumed that adjusting to it d be a breeze, a welcomed change even, so it would be the coming home that would be hard. the re-integration to western life, for me.

but what do i know!?! it would be soooo cool to see; that's the lure of moving, not knowing!

Tyson Trepidatious said...

Lol very nice post :) Ur hilarious :) I enjoyed the reading ;P

CrazyCris said...

great entry!

My whole family still gets teary-eyed when we think of our departure from Mexico... and that was 15 years ago! But then we lived there almost 9 years so... It got to the point where I felt more Mexican than anything else (and I have 2 nationalities!). When I started college in Spain I was a total "chilanga"! People didn't know what to peg me as! Here I was with my gringa physique (pale redhead), Spanish passport and yet they couldn't understand half the lingo coming out of my mouth! hilarious!

And your tale of driving stick on the "other" side of the car? I was soooo freaked out when I rented a car in Australia and they had given me a stick instead of an automatic... I wasn't sure I'd be able to do it! No problemo! Only thing is, I was concentrating so hard on shifting gears that a couple of times I turned into the wrong lane of the street! oops! :p

My name is Erin. said...

Once again a blog where I keep saying, "OMG! Me, too!" While I don't listen to NKOTB (anymore) I have been known to bump a little N'Sync and most certainly Justin Timberlake. (love him, though not enough to wear a t-shirt that says "Mrs. Timberlake") And Metallica is one of my all.time.FAVORITES! The Black album makes me top 20 favorite albums of all-time and Master of Puppets is on the top 50... along with J.T. I am, however, a superb driver. *polishing my nails with my hot breath* If I do say so myself.

I'm so glad you're back.