Sunday, September 16, 2012

Things We Are Learning

Post-Africa, it is maybe a really good thing that we're taking this trip. Why? Because awesome. But also because we're, uh, a little strange by American standards right now, and we should probably work some of that out before arriving in the U.S. of A.

Example: Every time Bridget says something potentially confusing to a waiter, hotelier, or person who might not speak English, she follows it with a click. In Benin, this would be a normal way to check for understanding. In Europe, it's just weird.

Thus, things we are learning on our trip:

1. You can't just click at people. Clicking means nothing in the west unless it's accompanied with a finger pistol gesture, and even that is strange.

2. On a related note, responding to questions in one of our standard grunts leads to blank stares and concern as to the status of our mental health.

3. No licking fingers, even to show that our appetizers were delicious.

4. Seventy eight degrees to the rest of the world is apparently not cold. Go figure.

5. No one wants to learn African. If you try to teach a group of new friends in a bar how to cheers in GĂșn, they will stare at you until you awkwardly yell "cheers!" and take a sip. Noted.

6. Rules actually apply to us now. We apparently can't just drive motorcycles without licenses or deliberately flout the no shoes rule in restaurants just because we're yovos. Boo.

7. We can stop apologizing to people every time we try to pay with a big bill. In non-West Africa countries, people don't hoard their coins. The same cannot be said for us, as collectively we could probably fill a treasure chest with our precious 20 franc and 5 euro pieces.

8. We can stop referring to dresses that hit two inches above the knee as our "slutty dresses". Besides the Amish, no one will be scandalized by our blindingly white kneecaps.

9. You can't just eat butter. Also, for some reason, waiters tend to have an averse reaction to you if every time you see a dairy product you break out in song and pre-rehearsed dance.  Bridget literally broke out in an impromptu mini-opera entitled "World of Butter! I'd love to live in you!" two breakfasts ago, and Vicky and I have been doing the Cheese and Butter Dance™ since we left Benin.
10. On the Internet, there is Google. Google is a thing that knows stuff. Instead of making up facts, maps and things we think we remember from this one book we read in third grade, we could probably just look it up on teh interwebs. Because Google is smarter than we are*.

*Someone should probably fact-check this on Google.

No comments: