Saturday, 16 January 2010

Expat attitudes

Once again it's been a busy few days of socialising... People here yesterday for lunch and afternoon fun, us inviting ourselves over to others this morning and the lunch and lazy afternoon watching the view (and passing eagles - 10 lesser spotted eagles plus a few smaller things in about an hour at one point isn't quite Lebanese style migration, but still good to see and a lot better than you'd get in the UK!). Children happily throwing themselves off the top of steps into piles of cushions, parents happily sitting on the veranda, etc. Very nice sort of day really. Next time we'll go earlier and go for a walk around their hill beforehand, but the first time it's probably good to just plan things. And then back home where we discussed again the differences between the attitudes of those long-term expats here and friends back in the UK. Indeed, it was one thing that struck the Wicked Uncle whilst he was here - how many people we knew and could call on for help or to borrow things when we've been here such a short time really.

For Mama I think it is the attitude to children and what they can do that strikes her the most - people love children here and will happily accept weeing on the lawn (or in the Mancub's latest game, weeing by a swimming pool, then stamping in the puddle shouting "wee" in a loud voice. Charming! He managed 5 in about 30mins the other day though, which even I had to admit is pretty impressive...) or climbing all over things in a way that would shock many Aberdeen parents. But for me, I love the "of course, let's do it" attitude. This is what lets people (that would be us, then) phone up first thing in the morning and invite themselves for coffee, then arrive late and have lunch instead. Or call someone one evening asking to borrow all their camping equipment the next morning and find several people willing to lend things, when you've only known any of them a few weeks. And that's before we start talking about how many people have been involved in helping us sort ourselves out with the house, home and things, or even help get stuck in to police offices, immigration and all the rest when someone gets in trouble. Indeed, we keep discovering people who know all about my adventures and were helping one way or another bhind he scenes whilst I was enjoying the hospitality of the constabulary, and that was before we even met them! I guess is helps that there's a huge pre-filtering of people who end up moving to Tanzania (as one friend commented the other evening, we're all missfits together really...), and that does mean that lots who make it have similar general outlooks on life. But it's a great community to be part of, and I really hope we can contribute to others in a similar way. The first challenge is to work out where everyone we've invited to our house-warming, jail-freeing pot-luck lunch thing next Saturday is going to park - didn't think of that when we went through the phone lists... We probably have parking for 6 or 7 at a push and live on the end of a single track road (check out 3 20'53.47"S, 36 41'01.88"E on Google Earth to see more...), so roadside parking isn't on. And leaving cars far away might be a bit of a risk... Still, of course we'll find something - if nothing else there's a field up the road and I'm sure we could pay someone to watch cars there for the afternoon... Though we are also hoping to build some good relationships with some genuine Tanzanians too - and I'm sure we will.

No comments:

Post a Comment