Monday, April 16, 2012

I'm from another planet, and it's called America.

Ever wondered how aliens feel? I don't. Because, I know. I know
how they feel, entering a room (or village) full of earthlings, and then feeling their skin grow even greener, their eye-tentacles becoming more awkward and garish. This is how I feel everyday when
I strap on my white helmet and start bicycling away from a large group of women selling sweet potatoes and small
fish. This is also how I feel when I get into any conversation with
teachers at the secondary school. Today, we talked mostly about wizards, more specifically the current state of wizardry and witchery in America, and this somehow wandered to witch doctors and demons in Africa- who both still apparently get solicited from people willing to sell their soul and sacrifice (literally) humans in order to enhance the shapeliness and enormity of their butts. That seemed familiar to me, and provided a cross-cultural leap into breast implants and plastic surgery- you know, just surgically forcing plastic into your body to have better tits- which proved to be almost as strange as Viagra and transvestites, but not nearly as earthtoppingly bizarre as two people marrying each other out of and for love. Rather than production of children.

Did I mention that our cultures are very different? When Tom started talking about space travel and rockets, just to up the shock value, he mispoke and rather than saying "the moon", he said "America". Yup. These days, they both seen just about as distant and...mystifying. As I hear myself talking about the way we treat our poor and homeless("you mean, the poor people in America have no homes? Their families do not take them in?"), to our 100 floor apartment buildings. It's all just very strange. My favorite part of the conversation was when tom's counterpart shook his head and told us both, "you whites are mostly all wizards. At least 90% wizard."

1 comment:

  1. Hi from the moon! I just wanted to say that i've said "I feel like an alien" at least three times since I've been home. I think I might still be in the "high, initial encounter" phase of culture shock because it's all very exciting and not too scary, just weird sometimes when I see something I forgot about, like toasters or string cheese. I went to a mall yesterday and was trying to figure out if there were always that many pretty, sparkly, colorful dresses or if America has gotten more sparkly and colorful since I left :) miss you guys!