Living in a new environment requires some form of adaptation to the culture, the people, the lingo and the general way of life. Listed below are some of the things I now do which were alien to me about a year and half ago. Some of them, I never imagined I would do, not because they are necessarily bad or particularly mind-blowing, but because they were things that just didn’t cross my mind a few months ago. Some of them are choices I now make; others are opportunities I am taking. Some are good, some I am ashamed to admit, and some are simply neutral. The important issue is they are new things happening only because I changed my location from
1. Carrying a mobile phone – I had resisted carrying a mobile phone for over a decade. It was my way of avoiding the relentless pressure of the different hats I wore in
However, now that I live in
2. Storing fuel at home – In the past I used to condemn those who store fuel at home as people who were raving mad. Or how would anyone in their right mind store petrol, a highly inflammable fuel at home given its attendant safety issues? Nowadays, I have eaten my words and I reluctantly have to store petrol and diesel because you need them for generating electricity and also for your vehicle. I have realised that this is the most convenient way to ensure life goes on without serious disruptions given the epileptic power supply and regular fuel scarcity.
Although petrol has not contained its uncontrollable and temperamental appetite for catching fire, I must say I no longer think those who store petrol at home are raving mad. Or is it that I have joined the mad crew? Hmmm.
3. Taking regular cold showers – What do you expect?
4. Raising my voice – I have to admit that I now do the occasional raising of my voice for which I am ashamed. Raising my voice at people was not one of the things I thought I was capable of doing. I have no excuse for this and I wouldn’t want to say it’s the people that made me do it. However, before I am inundated with anger management experts offering their services, Iet me state that I have decided to politely walk away from workmen who deliberately do shoddy work knowing that all they have to do is 'say sorry', never mind the cost of fixing the mess they created. I also now shut my eyes to people who drive as if they are possessed. I know it is difficult not to be frustrated by the myriad of issues in
5. Brushing my teeth with bottled water – This is more of a survival measure rather than an attempt to appear posh. In my view, the cost of getting bottled water to brush my teeth is cheaper than the potential cost of typhoid. I have also derived a method of using water so judiciously well that a bottle could last for several days. I did not start this way; I was content with the borehole water until I had a rethink after an incident which I guess I will leave for another time. Hmmmmmmm!
Watch out for Part 2!