What started as an awareness raising and ethnographic styled walk through Sierra Leone, this site now details the encounters of a not so academic academic who spends more time occupying Wall Street and squats than a university...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Culture Clash

So picture this.. Me.. Eating canned celery salad with pasta and drinking orange soda!! So this is part of what I had for dinner tonight. Not everyone, just myself and the other opotu (whitey). You see in Sierra Leone, eating local foods cooked in local ways is not putting out your best. Where we put out our finest china and cook something nice, they break out the canned goods. After all, they are much more difficult to get than rice and cassava. They are imported, they cost more, and you must have more money or a higher status to have them. And of course it is rude not to eat and drink it. So here I am - allergy boy - trying to stave of malaria and other tropical beasts through eastern medicinal meditation, exercise, a healthy fresh diet, and strengthening my immune system eating away!! Fanta and canned food, because that's how we do!! Lol.

I just find it amusing how things go as they do. Rituals and customs make both sides do things they may not want to do, and without ever even asking about whether it is desired. Culture!! Oh, and they put on the generator as well.. In all seriousness, we humans are all they same. We all want to show ourselves in a good light and deep down inside we all want to be nice to people, to make them happy and feel welcome... Thanks, it worked tonight!!

Ok, one other tid bit... We spent three hours to drive 55 miles this afternoon. That is less distance than driving from suburbia Poughkeepsie to NYC. Imagine if that commute to work took 3 hours bouncing around in a 4x4. And this road is THE MAIN ROAD from Makeni north to Guinei. An international road!! 87 miles from Makeni to Guinei takes 6 hours. !?!? How does an economy flourish if people can't sell their goods 30 miles away and companies can't export with ease? Somehow... we've gotta get a real road built here... ;-/

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