I am on my first week in Botswana. And so far nothing too dreadful has happened, low expectations are critical when moving to a new continent, of this I am certain.
Note to self: next time when travelling I should find a shower or something at the Heathrow airport. Maybe it was the tears (such hard goodbyes), or the hottest plane I HAVE EVER BEEN ON… but I looked, felt and smelled awful when I came off that plane. I realised just how bad it was when after showering, two people who saw the “before and after” commented on how refreshed I looked (and smelled).
I have had a few days before starting work to get settled in and sleep, so naturally I have had ample opportunity to experience the joys of being a newbie in another country – to name a few:
Low tech alarm systems. No password or a few seconds warning beep, no, I am armed with a key and lengthy instructions on how to switch things on and off. So basically, in plain English, that means I set off the alarm within 10 minutes of being in the house. I frantically called someone to aid me… and then found the reset button to turn it off. The great thing is that the security guards came within five minutes. I don’t know a code, password, nor does my id fit with who owns the house. They didn’t seem to need it – my friend suggested they look at my id, so they thought that was a good idea, then she suggested they write my name down, he asked for paper. So we gave him a paper and a pen and he wrote my name down. High security indeed.
skeleton keys. I hate them. And they hate me. Skeleton keys open and lock everything from the gate on my front door to the washroom at work. And yes, I almost got trapped on my first visit – I can’t imagine the embarrassment of having to be saved from the toilet my first day at work. The problem with skeleton keys is that you have to push in at the exact moment, turn at the right time – it’s just too much. I get frustrated and immediately panicked, and of course the lock can smell my fear. At this point, a mutual dislike might exist far into the future…sooner than later a truce might have to be called, but I don’t want to be the first to back down.
driving on the other side. okay, I k now that I don’t drive but that has not stopped me from being affected by this difference. So far, I have almost been hit when crossing the street a handful of times (and since I have only walked to work and to church those are not good odds). Also, I always walk to the wrong side of the car, and it takes the driver to wonder aloud “if I have decided to drive instead?” I am anything but a fast learner.
The good news? I have had rusks and french pressed Starbucks coffee every morning. God is good!