Thursday, January 20, 2011

COS: A Journey Into Middle Earth- I must cast the ring into the fires of Mordor to make it end...

Things I won't miss about Madagascar:

First and foremost, Wawa. I Hate, absolutely HATE Wawa. I'll tell ya what, Wawa doesn't make Zaho Ngoma for leaving Madagascar. If you hate yourself or feel the need to punish yourself for some unspeakable deed, I suggest watching this. (Dear future Madagascar PCVs - If you are reading this blog to learn more about Peace Corps Madagascar before you leave, please don't let this music video inspire you to call Washington and call the whole thing off... It's terrible, I know, but what doesn't kill us only makes us stronger.)

Secondly, I won't miss everyone trying to rip me off, charge me more for things, get me to buy things, etc, because I'm white. Sometimes when I try to bargain for a taxi fare, or food that I feel I'm being overcharged, they say "But you're white, white people have money" and it's just... it... I don't like it. I'm speaking Malagasy, a regional dialect, even; I'm not a normal foreign visitor. I work here and make a very small amount of money. Granted, I still make more than most Malagasy people, but I live here, I speak the language, and I know how much things should cost. For example, the taxi brousse from Diego to Ambanja is 12,000ariary. They always try to charge me 14,000. I know that it's 12,000. I tell them that I know that it's really only 12 and that they're charging me more just because I'm not Malagasy. It makes me sad. It's only 2000ariary more, but why? I lived in Ambanja and Diego- I know how much it costs! It just makes me feel like some people (taxi brousse drivers, taxi drivers, shop keepers)see $$$$ when they look at me, and not a human being. That makes me sound more sensitive than I am, but I don't know how else to put it.

Thirdly, bugs. That's right, even after all this time, bugs still make the list. I can honestly say that I'm not in the slightest bit scared of rats or mice. Spiders, no problem, unless they're significantly big/brightly colored. Ants, whatever, I mean, I was never scared of ants, but they did annoy me; now I don't care about them. But roaches and centipedes... yeah... I can handle them better than I used to. They don't make me scream. I have full motor control over my limbs in their presence. But seriously, knowing that when I'm laying in bed in America, there are no roaches or centipedes about to crawl on me, it makes me not so sad to leave. I mean, not to be a wimp, but this is what we're talking about...
Seriously, why are these people putting these things on their hands? The only reasonable thing to do with them is to destroy them!
Good riddance.

Lastly, the combination of being hot, sweaty and itchy. I know that "hot and sweaty" seem repetitive, but I don't think so, not anymore. I was just sweaty here in Tana, the capital, but I wasn't really hot. On the coast it's like you're soaking wet with sweat- and what is sweat supposed to do? Cool you off... but it doesn't seem like it works on the coast. Here in Tana it does the trick. And itchy with heat rash, bug bites, etc... And it's sunny (and hot) so you have on sunscreen, itch cream for your bug bites, and bug spray to prevent more. At any given time there is a cocktail of ingrediants coating your skin. Here in Tana, I don't have anything on, and I feel more human.

So, those are the 4 things I won't miss about Madagascar- though they seem to be pretty specific to the coast.

Stay tuned for the more positive and uplifting, Things I WILL Miss.

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