Thursday, June 17, 2010

weird vs. different

There have been a lot of new things to get used to here on the Africa Mercy.

  • The keyboards in the internet cafe are European ones. Nothing much is different except that SHIFT+2 is not "@", it's switched with the double quotation marks that normally reside on SHIFT+'. Also, instead of $ there are the € Euro and £ Pound symbols
  • All the electrical outlets are the european 3-prong ones. This I expected, but I forgot that they aren't normally near the floor like they are in the US and that you have to flip a switch on the individual outlet for it to turn on.
  • When you walk up the stairs on the right side you're liable to run into someone... not every country observes the "walk on the right" thing
  • The dock is paved with interlocking paving stones... which collect ginormous puddles after it rains. Which is almost every day. Every time I've walked the dock I've had to avoid large puddles of dirty water... and the large rats that remind me of Templeton
  • Boxed milk. Thankfully this self-stable white substance that could probably last through a nuclear holocaust (family joke) is not vanilla flavored like the stuff we used to get in Singapore. It's usually cold, so it's not too bad when you add it to your tea or coffee... I'm having a hard time with the cereal thing though
  • There are many different "brands" of English. In the Hospitatlity department there are 4 Americans, one Brit, and one Slovak (is that what you call someone from Slovakia?) We understand each other pretty well, but I sometimes have to stop and remember that we call things "serviettes" (table napkins) and "hoovers" (vacuums)
  • Most of the crew are "hot climate people." This means that they are relationship-oriented instead of task or time-oriented. Sometimes you can put something in the crew galley fridge with your name on it and it will still be gone... everything is shared. And a few people will tell you "yes" when they really mean "no;" they don't want to let you down.
*isn't not "weird," it's just "different"*

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