If you’ve ever lived abroad, then you will understand the whole adjustment process that occurs when you settle yourself in a vastly different culture. Even if you have moved cross-country (like east coast to west coast, south to north, etc), then you’ve felt it a little. I had the realization the other day that there are some ways in which I truly have adjusted to living in TZ, but there are some things that make me markedly American. So, I wanted to share some of them with you.
Ways In Which I Have Adjusted
- I put a jacket on Tuesday morning…I don’t know what the temperature was, but it was probably still in the 70s.
- I no longer look to see how I’m supposed to eat something (if the spoon doesn’t work, just pick it up with your hands!)
- I can eat spaghetti with a spoon
- I don’t mind if someone is sitting at “my” desk
- When picking out outfits, I go for a skirt first
- I’ve eaten raw maize (and would do it again)
- I’m a pro at eating ugali…well, almost
- Finding a few feathers left on my piece of chicken doesn’t gross me out
- I don’t notice when people are staring as much
Ways In Which I Am Still Very American
- If I have the option of using a fork, I will still use it
- I prefer floss over toothpicks (which you need almost anytime you eat meat)
- I still like for things to start on time
- Compared to Tanzanians, I feel like a major planner
- Some days I really just want to wear a long shirt and leggings (which would not be OK)
- I feel loud
- I get frustrated at the inefficiencies
- Even though I’m learning more Swahili every week, I still don’t know that much, which sometimes creates a problem when people at work assume I’ve understood what was said in a conversation
I’m sure there are a lot more things that could be added to either list, but those are what I can think of at the moment.