It’s been one month since I left for South Africa. Time has gone quickly but I can see and feel the changes in myself. My mirror reflects a girl with tan face and lighter hair, someone who has been enjoying the sunshine. My body is leaner from all the walking and my legs are covered in bug bites. A midst all the fun adventures that come with traveling abroad, there is also a lot of downtime. I love it though. It’s been…calming. Peaceful. The books are piling up on the side of my bed, the leather soles of my sandals worn thin. I am well rested, I am happy.
Last night my South African friend Babbet asked me what I missed the most about the States. I couldn’t really pin point any major cultural differences that I was struggling with. I like to think that I came with a very open mind. But I came up with a few quirks:
Driving. Alright it took a while but I got used to the whole “we drive on the left side” thing but what bothers me is that people will NOT stop for pedestrians. My roommates and I get beeped at regularly, even at cross walks! It’s a college town, thousands of kids are walking around daily crossing the streets, you would think that people could handle slowing down for someone to cross. But no. One international student got side-swiped the other day. I kid you not.
Food Service. It is really slow………….
Things that are opposite. All the knobs turn the other way. This is essential to remember especially if you would like to do the dishes without getting soaked.
Our favorite South African sayings: “I’m totally keen for that” or “lekker day” or “howsit?”
Our favorite trend: The boys and their pastel shorts, all with a tad bit higher hem line than you see in the states. Very European.
Our not-so-favorite trend: mullets. Seriously?
After one month I can say I love it here and I am really proud of myself for taking advantage of this opportunity and am thankful to the people in my life that helped make this possible. To the other study abroaders- you rock and I hope you are having as wonderful of an experience as I am. Be it Spain, Italy or Fiji.
Not a day goes by where the thought “I am so blessed” doesn’t float through my mind, generated from the all the smiles that are constantly forming on my face.
To my family back at home, yay for vacation! To my friends at High Point, one week till spring break!
Have a lekker day people. Miss you.