AfroMzansi continues

I love staying in a hotel. You wake up, grab a shower and go down stairs for a buffet breakfast…fresh fruits….bacon.. the works. Off you go for the day and you come to a neat room with fresh smelling laundry. While you were away they spread your bed and did your laundry. They vacuumed and they changed the sheets. And the towels. And you don’t even have to remember where you tossed put your shower cap….because there is another brand new shower cap in place of the one you used in the morning.

Soon I will be back to reality. You know…bringing the bacon to the table (literally :) ) and actually washing and chopping the fruits!

But for now, I am enjoying it, every bit of it.

The food in this hotel is just great. But….DUH! It’s a HOTEL. That’s what they do. That’s their core business.

 I am My Country

I cringe when I see someone eating with their hands without washing them first. You might think after all those home science lessons the “wash your hands before you eat” mantra sank in.

 

It happens all the time. People eat their snacks with the same hands by which they have paid for them. Money IS dirty.

 

I do not eat with dirty hands. Ever. My conscience will not let me. But it is hubbz that is the fanatic when it comes to such matters. He is one person I know who will not drink untreated water if you held a gun on his head.

 

Together, we have cultivated this hand-washing culture in the house,  that every house help who comes on board has to adhere to.

My children know they must wash their hands before handling anything that is gonna get into their mouth. At their young age -6 and 5- they have the word “bacteria” in their vocabulary. And if I could have a super-power then I’d like to be able to see them even when in school and ensure that they do wash their hands before eating their break time snack.

*Sigh.

 

Last week at the cafeteria, over tea break I asked for a sandwich. There was nowhere I could wash my hands and because I didn’t have my handbag there, I didn’t have my antibacterial wipes. So, I used some serviettes to hold my sandwich.

 

My SA colleague ordered hers too. They were scrumptious. We ate as we chatted about this and that. She held hers with her hands. I didn’t realize that it caught her attention that I was using a serviette to hold my sandwiches the whole time.

 

“So, how is Kenya?”

 

After all the bla bla about the population and athletes and the big five, she asked me how come I was holding my sandwich using a serviette.

“My hands were not clean, that’s all”.

 

She told me she had thought that…”Kenyans don’t touch their food.”

 

I was amused. But not as as amused as when she asked if I am an athlete myself. Pahaha. Then it occurred to me, that as long as I am here in another country, I am my country.

 

Kenyans

I don’t know about you but it irks me sometimes when people generalize. It annoys me when people loosely use the term ‘Kenyans’.

“……Oh, Kenyans will never learn. Kenyans like scooping oil off overturned lorries….” I go like REALLY? what about Malawians? Or Chileans?

It becomes most annoying when someone uses the term Kenyans to highlight what is normal human behaviour. “Si you know Kenyans love free things?” Tell me one person who doesn’t listen up, when they hear the phrase ‘while stocks last’.

 

But some generalizations are acceptable. I have been in a few places now and I can confidently say Kenyans are very hard working. It’s our culture I think. We do stuff. We work late. We hustle. We get things done. Faster.

Unfoshunatery 😛 the same cannot be said of Mzansians. They take their time. They are not hurried. You might think they don’t care. But it’s their culture. Here, they don’t work late

There I go, generalizing. And you can tell. I am biased.

 

Week two, in Mzansi.

 

PS: I did have a great weekend, with my friend and her family. So much for (my)raised eyebrows.

 

12 comments for “AfroMzansi continues

  1. August 25, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    You are like me: I LOVE HOTELS. Please believe that if I could, I would LIVE in a hotel. I even feel bad when friends invite me to stay with them when I’m visiting their towns because I would much rather stay at a hotel. I love them. The End. Enjoy! 

  2. August 26, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    You never talked about the facebook friend request and add, that would have been interesting 😀

  3. August 27, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    I love hotels because they encourage me to just think about nothing but food. And they encourage me to just be lazy. But the food, that’s just about my favorite part! And then when i’m leaving I wonder when is the next time i’ll be in a hotel again.

    • September 16, 2011 at 11:56 am

      @mummytales Well said. That sums it all up!

  4. August 29, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Told you not to be worried, loosen the grip and go with the flow. See, it turned out-my guess more than you expected! Glad you had fun Mrs M.

  5. Sue
    September 3, 2011 at 4:33 am

    I think you will have to get used to the generalization. To be fair I’m sure there are certain things you associate with certain nationalities.

     

    • September 16, 2011 at 11:46 am

      And that’s for sho! :)

  6. September 6, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    So when you say you literary bring the bacon to the table, do you mean you kind of drag a pig then slaughter it? or chop of a section for the bacon then let it go? Glad to hear you enjoyed your stay there. I too enjoy hotels but not after the 3rd or 4th day! I then start longing for a home atmosphere! Did you visit the apartheid museum as I suggested in your previous post?

    • September 16, 2011 at 11:45 am

      Didn’t go anywhere in Jo’burg. I was in Durban the whole time.But Jo’burg is a dangerous place, huh? I’ve heard that from a lot of peeps. But next time I visit Mzansi I must visit Jo’burg..it’s 200Km from Durban.

  7. David
    September 7, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Hey Christine,
    Enjoy down-south.  I hope the weather is favourable. I identify a lot with a lot of the stuff you’ve said but the one that caught my attention is the part about being an athlete.  I have been asked that question countless times; I guess being lean makes it easier for others to assume that I may be.  My funniest experience was once when a taxi driver in a Nordic country who couldnt speak a word of English, asked me that question using sign-language (while cruising at about 140kp/h)!!

  8. David
    September 7, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Hey Christine,
    Enjoy down-south. I hope the weather is favourable. I identify a lot with a lot of the stuff you’ve said but the one that caught my attention is the part about being an athlete. I have been asked that question countless times; I guess being lean makes it easier for others to assume that I may be. My funniest experience was once when a taxi driver in a Nordic country who couldnt speak a word of English, asked me that question using sign-language (while cruising at about 140kp/h)!!

  9. September 9, 2011 at 10:51 am

    But not as as amused as when she asked if I am an athlete myself. Pahaha…Before i talk to a chinese like person i always hold my tongue before i ask whether they do tae-kwon-do

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