Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Am I high-maintenance?

West Africa has caused me to want to ask this question. I don’t usually think of myself as high-maintenance. After all, we have ants in our toothbrushes here, cold showers, a bucket for laundry, and no AC and I don’t even mind.

But West Africa is not an easy place to live—maybe it’s the accumulation of it all.

The endless streams of men who want you to come to their shop at the cultural center and buy their artwork.

The way things close without notice, like the gym.

The lack of infrastructure.

The lack of anything to do, really.

The muggy heat—no stores to buy snacks—running out of gum. No place to buy contact solution.

Don’t get me wrong; I like it here. The people are so kind.

But the pace is what really has me shaking my head. People here are soooo slow. Really laughingly slow. If you order a simple meal at a restaurant, it may take 2 hours. If you ask for your change, you may be told “We are too busy. Come back later” as they slowly shuffle around, 3 workers for one customer. If someone is blocking their way, they wait patiently for the other person to move instead of walking around them. Ordering fast food at the mall took 45 minutes. What a slow, slow way of life. If I’d come straight from America, the land of efficiency, I’d probably have a heart attack. As it is, I’ve learned to savor the slow moments in life, but this… life here is S.L.O.W. Peaceful, and slow.

“Don’t Worry, Be Happy”

 

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1 comment:

Erica Chandler Hansen said...

Oh my lanta Kalli, if you are high maintenance I am unbearably so. Heaven help your poor soul. I would perish in Ghana.

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