Saturday, September 03, 2005

Culture shock

Last night was the first I went out since I've been back. This is mostly due to the fact that:
-I had 8 hours of jetlag
-I was sick (predictably)

-Our luggage was lost and took 3 days to arrive (my cell phone included)
-I moved in on September 1st

-I began classes on September 1st

-I just didn't feel like it

I didn't feel like going out last night either-- but I decided that it was getting a little creepy, so I accepted to go to a housewarming party, where I didn't know a single person, as my room mate's safety net.
It was so strange. It was such a typical university student night: people were standing around the table with chips and beer, eating and chatting away, some were outside on the balcony staring at the Montreal skyline, and the rest were sprawled on the couch and floor passing a shisha around and talking about vague Philosophical Ideas. At that moment, it hit me like a bulldozer.
The lifestyle we students lead (especially in Montreal, where everything is so cheap) is downright ridiculous, What kind of person owns an apartment (and a nice one at that) at 19? With a fridge? Couch? What kind of person thinks that it's normal?? Before I went to Madagascar, I thought it was normal. Now I just can't seem to take it; we're so lucky and most of us don't even know it. For some reason, I'm finding the poverty in Madagascar so much more striking here than I did there.
I know it's selfish, but I hope that I will eventually go back to thinking that it's normal (well, until I go back to Madagascar anyway...). It was so much easier to walk into someone's apartment without feeling depressed!

Posts on Madagascar should be going up soon. The computer and pictures were lost with the luggage! Oh, and the reason Mada's internet is so slow is because they're not connected to South Africa via fiberoptics. It was a program that was offered a few years ago, under the last (corrupt) president's rule, and for some unknown reason was refused. But there's hope: now that there is a new president, the tunnel might be made after all.


Blogger Beaver said...

I felt very much the same way when I came back from Africa. To quote my friend Andrea : "Strange how easy it is to slip back into the old way of life..."

Your culture shock should subside. And if it doesn't, lucky you, you'll be a welcome member of the development community. Runs in the family, doesn't it ?

2:43 p.m.  
Blogger 007 in Africa said...

Vicky, I love the new picture! Is that a turtle from Madagascar?

4:41 a.m.  
Blogger James Bond said...

Hi Vicky, I like the picture of you with a meat pie (it IS a meat pie, isn't it?)

Spending time in Madagascar really lets one realize how happy we all are -- 1 billion people around the world live on less than $1 per day, like Mada where the per capita income is around $300 per person per year.

We miss you here in Mada!



12:04 p.m.  

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