Why wouldn’t you?

I met a family from Swaziland last night. We were talking about the cultural differences between different countries we have lived in. Then the wife said something that  striked me. “In Swaziland you speak to the person standing next to you in a bus stop. Why wouldn’t you?”.

The first statement is sort of true in Adisaba too (at least people wouldn’t be surprised if you started a conversation with them). But what’s still ringing in my head is her question “Why wouldn’t you?”.

I don’t know. I wish I could know what puts a wall between us.

She also said, “I saw something nice on the street the other day. One guy with his two small children was yelling out to someone across the street. And then I said ‘Finally, we have a community in this area!’ ”

It was great to speak to her. Before I could tell her what I thought, she had reiterated what I used to tell everyone.

And for a change, she’s white. Her husband, her daughter, all of the same view, all as white as anyone can get. It’s not me having some complex skin color issues.

Good luck adjusting nice woman. I wish the environment doesn’t change you as it has changed me.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. betty
    Jun 06, 2010 @ 17:45:04

    This has been the biggest issue for me after coming here. I want to smile and say hi to everyone that comes my way, but the reaction that was forwarded to me was not so good. But at times that doesnot stop me from being me and flashing my smile at who ever comes my way and saying hi although I am aware that I donot have that 1000 watt smile some people seem to have.

    Your experimental scenario end the end comes down to what ” abatochachin” say all the time..” Le sew medhanitu sew new”… the sad part is we only hear it but we donot listen to it. You would be amazed at how many ” Habeshas” just ignore eachother at different places here. On my defense, I came here, tried to say hi to every Habesha that I run into.. and the response wasnot what I expected. I guess if you were ever to call up every Habesha on it, they would probably defend themselves with what I just said. But I have no idea where that wall came from or whether it was existent even before we came to this earth.

    But atleast I know I try, or so it was pointed out to me by Ashly. We were sitting and talking about Ethiopia. She asked whether I miss it, I told her that I miss my family and my friends so much that I want to scream at times; I have lots of friends there. THen she said, ” of couse you would have lots of good friends, you are betty” I was confused and asked her what she ment. She said, ” you are friendly, you say hi to everybody whether you know them or not and it is no wonder that you have lots of good friends” The strange thing is I never knew that I did that. It made me happy though, because like you said Tiye, the environment sort of changed me and I am retaliating against


    • getere
      Jun 06, 2010 @ 23:29:49

      betty, don’t worry given the right environment we’d get back to normal 😀 we might be able to change the crappy environment too, be it a little bit. so keep resisting and showing contagious smiles 🙂

      tibe, at least i have the answer to your problem. it’s likely that you wouldn’t talk to her because you fear being rejected. being turned down is not fun. i can’t drill down to it much because only you know how your reasoning, and it’s only then that you can get rid of the wall. make some thought experiments.
      “would you talk to her if she was 60?” (that might tell you whether you fear talking to any woman or just those you’re interested in)
      “would you talk to her if you knew she was interested in you?” (you’ll know if it’s fear of rejection on something else making you nervous)
      “would you talk to her if you were Alamudi, if you were taller, if you were younger, …?” (you’ll know what you think it is that you lack – not to say that you lack anything but who knows how your crazy head thinks)


  2. tibebe
    Jun 06, 2010 @ 16:03:42

    it is an interesting question – why wouldn’t i talk to a girl that is standing next to me at the bus stop?

    well, for one thing i would be tongue-tied and two…

    oh, are you talking about the human race as a whole? in that case, how the hell should i know? 👿

    still i want to share with you a saying: “talk is cheap” buddha


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