A rebuttal to Tyler's musings of India. If you have not read them on his blog then you should. They are at http://tylergoestoindia.blogspot.com/2009_11_01_archive.html
So here it goes.
1 Even though people don't have pets as companions, don't be surprised to find any animal in any place. Like a hen in a kitchen, dog in a classroom, cat in a hospital room, rooster in a living room. All of which I have seen.
2 Ninataka choo and Ninatoka choo do not mean the same thing. Choo means toilet. Ninataka means I need. Ninatoka means I come from.
3 People like to decorate their walls. About every house has a picture of Jesus and/or Obama. But I have seen posters of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Titanic, and The Undertaker from pro wrestling.(all in the same room)
4 Just because a man is wearing a Chicago Bulls shirt doesn't mean he likes the Bulls, has heard of Chicago, or has even knows what basketball is.
5 Even though you are on the sidewalk, you still have to watch out for Matatus(commuter buses). If there is a traffic jam, no place is off limits to them.
6 If you feel homesick for America, just find the closest mall. They are pretty much the same everywhere
7 Most Kenyan students know more American rappers and R&B artists than I do.
8 Sometimes in order to get from where you are to where you need to be you have to just jump in the back of a random truck.(or walk for hours up a mountain)
9 I have seen Pepsi products in Uganda and Tanzania but none in Kenya. I wonder if it has anything to do with Kenya's website url endings. ie. www.google.co.ke
10 You don't really appreciate western style toilets until you have the runs and your looking at a small hole in the ground.
11 Sometimes it is better to just close your eyes and take a bite. Wait till you are finished before you ask what it was you ate.
12 Don't be surprised to hear a cell phone ring at any time or place; restaurants, church services, funerals, weddings.
13 There is always room for one more. This includes taxis( I have been in a five-seater car with ten people in it) matatus( 25 people with 12 seats) Tea time(26 people sitting and drinking tea in a room not much bigger than a bedroom)
14 If you ask what time an event begins don't put too much stock in the answer. First of all the system of time here is 6 hours different than ours. For instance at noon they say it is 6:00. And it is pretty safe to show up about an hour after the supposed start of anything.
15 Even if you can't figure out what time it is, it is probably Chai(tea) time. As they say here, "Every time is chai time."
16 If you like music at church then show up on time to the service. The first hour is almost always singing.
17 Every place is a path(or road if your a matatu). If there is no razorwire in front of you then it is ok to walk there.
18 Every place outside of a building is a toilet(at least for the boys).
19 It is rude as a guest to refuse food and drinks if you come to visit. So just put on a smile and eat the whole thing.
20 Don't drink something too fast unless you want more. As soon as you finish a cup of tea it will be instantly refilled. So if you don't like the beverage, but you want to be polite and finish, time the cup so that you finish as you are leaving the house.(It took me too many cups of bad coffee to figure this one out)
21 They also play the roll-the-hoop-with-a-stick game. They are pretty inginuitive at figuring out things that can roll. I still don't get out they roll them uphill.
22 Kaka kakamavu ana mkakate ka kakakaka. Try saying that out loud. If my Kiswahili grammer is correct(which it most definitely is not) this means "My cunning older brother has a plan to rapidly sit.
23 When we were walking through a mountain forest the other night. I told the Pastor I was with that it was "so muddy" he that I said it was "samadi" which was kiswahli for cow manure.
Hope you got a few laughs from these. I am having a great time. Stay in tune for stories from Tanzania. Merry Christmas!