Friday, June 10, 2011

Dog shit and other thresholds

Today I relocated to an internet cafe because the internet at work was distracting me and I just wanted to go home.  Thought this might press my "procrastination reset button".  As you can see, it's working out splendidly.

Somedays (like today) I just reach a cultural, linguistic threshold and want nothing more than to crawl under the covers with a good English novel, and isolate.  This is classic culture shock behaviour.  Overall, my adjustment to life here has been really smooth, and really enjoyable.  I could not have hoped for a more beautiful new city to live in, supportive workmates, a helpful roommate, inclusive neighbours and interesting work projects. I've got a fun, adventurous, supportive circle of friends too.  But somedays I reach a point, where concentrating fiercely on everything that is said, and everything that I want to say, gets a little taxing.  Then there's some of the less than enjoyable cultural nuances...*

So, "Yay for me!" I was invited to and gleefully attended a party with a bunch of English speaking foreigners  last weekend.  The Peace Corps (American volunteer development organization) has a pretty significant presence in Honduras.  At any given time, my organization CUSO-VSO has about 5 to 10 volunteers in country.  The Peace Corps has about 150.   Anyway, they were having a big "Welcome/Going Away" bash on Saturday, and I got to attend.  Wheeeeee!!! We danced, in a big group, free-style...ohhhh bliss!  Hondurans tend to always dance in a couple, and I have endured endless merengues with few spins, no corner turns and dreadfully boring lack of dancing challenge, to the extent that I was considering going Mennonite and stopping to dance altogether.  This dancing was so FREEING, and so familiar.  Another thing I revelled in was the enormous veggy salad served with dinner. Raw vegetables in quantity!!

Finally, the surprisingly refreshing thing at that party was the casual cursing interlaced throughout the ENGLISH conversations.  Hondurans tend not to swear.  Even when there's a subtitled movie on TV, and somebody says "shit" they bleep it out, and the subtitles never say, "mierda".  It's not even their own language and they protect themselves from the contaminating influences of bad words!  So, joy, bliss, I heard the F-word a few times Saturday night, and it was like snuggling up on the couch in flannel PJs infront of a fire, with a tub of chocolate Haagan Daaz, a blanket and hitting play on a romantic comedy.  In other words, all the comforts of home.

Going to some nearby hotsprings tonight, then out to a farm tomorrow, then to a party of some other foreigner friends. Happy Friday! 

 * My taxi driver hit on me disrespectfully today.  Super annoying and happens about 30% of the time on the ride to work.  Just get me to the god-damned destination without enquiring  as to my marital status, my desiring of a Honduran, and whether or not I would like to "Fall with you"...I take it that's code for F%^@.  I'd actually like to poke your eyes out with a big stick contaminated with fresh dog shit, but thanks for asking.  That's one for the margins of my Lonely Planet phrase book!


1 comment:

  1. Jam at the Dam's coming up - shake it, baby!!