January 24, 2008

Rules for My Return

With February 18 fast approaching, social obligations are starting to add up. Thusly, as a general guide, I'd like to lay some ground rules to avoid oft-asked questions, gross speculation and misconceptions.

1. Don't ask me: "How was Africa?" I wouldn't ask you about North America. Zambia, fine. Lusaka, better. But not the entire continent. Unless you have an entire night for a ground-covering conversation over drinks, which I'm fine with. I'll blab for hours if asked this question.

2. Don't expect a curio: As much as I would love to bring everyone an ebony serving spoon with a warthog carved into the handle, I hate craft markets.

3. If you ask me questions I've obviously answered through the blog, I'll be mildly annoyed: Not to be a jerk, but if you really wanted a general sense of what I was doing here or the places I visited, you could have checked this place out once a month.

4. No, I didn't get (too) sick: Save a month-long bought of diarrhea at the start, I've been as healthy as I would have been in Canada. Knock on wood - no malaria, worm infestations or flies laying eggs in me. Thanks to a much more natural diet and climate conducive to outdoor exercise, I actually feel great.

5. Yes, I got robbed: But it was all in the totally-my-fault-for-being-careless kind of way. One Gillette Fusion razor shaft and a few hundred dollars in Dar-es-Salaam isn't too bad, but I don't want have to recount it over and over again.

6. Don't ask me to speak with clicks: I have the most superficial knowledge of Zambia's predominant languages - Nyanja and Bemba - neither of which have clicks. Those are South African languages like Zulu and Xhosa, of which I'm totally ignorant.

7. I haven't become a bleeding-heart 'save the world' type: I'm not about to organize any benefit concerts, toy drives or go on any Bob Geldof-approved rants about how we need more foreign aid. If anything, I'm more skeptical about the West's attempts to help places like Zambia, including things like CIDA internships, media training and importing our idea of human rights.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i wonder why you even thought of going to Zambia?????

you sound no different from a --------!