Tuesday, 13 October 2015

But why are you so angry?

There is such a thing as REVERSE CULTURE SHOCK! It is real! and it does not discriminate by how long you have been away for.

I lived all my life in Ghana, I know and understand every bit of our culture and attitude. It was this reason that lead to  my surprise (more like the surprise of friends and family) when I experienced reverse culture shock. I mean I had only been away for a year.

 Anytime I experienced such and ask my younger sister what was going on , she would triple roll her eyes at me and say;

 "Ah Thatafricanchic, stop pretending, where you not even doing (insert particular action) more than me?"

No explanation I gave would make her believe me. She would just think that I was putting on an act.

I will talk more about these issues in subsequent posts, but one thing I noticed very quickly after I arrived in Ghana is that,

                                  People. are .usually. angry. Very angry.

In the US, I got used to being polite, saying please when I needed to ask for something, smiling at strangers and just enjoying peace & tranquility. When I was bored I would just take a walk or go for a jog, other people I meet on the way will either smile or wave hello at you.

 At worst, they will avoid eye contact and mind their own business.

In Ghana, when I first got off the plane, I wanted to take a picture of the plane (I am an aviation enthusiast!). I took out my phone and turned around.

Magneficent Plane ( Boeing 777)

 I was about to snap when I heard;

                             "He He what are you doing. Put that thing down"

I quickly turned around and one of the ground crew at the airport was coming at me.

                                    "You cant do that here. It is not allowed"
He continued.

It took me a few seconds to process my response, as at this time the other passengers had stopped and were looking at both of us. The rudeness and the manor in which he shouted had left me completely defenseless. I didn't quite know what to say. Then I remembered, I could play the returnee (beento) card.

So I told him

"But I am coming from Dubai and Seattle and they had no problem with me taking a picture of the plane" Poor argument on my part.

He aptly applied,

"This is Accra, we don't take pictures here"

To avoid further stares and not to prolong an  argument I had obviously lost, I quickly walked down to the shuttle bus without uttering another word. Defeated.

And then on the ride home, a taxi crossed our car suddenly, and our driver shouted at him,

"You are a fool, stupid man!"

with a very very angry face.

All the cars were driving so close to each other, I would shout out of fear warning our driver that the next car was too close. He would  ignore me. Completely.

Then we got home and 2 people were fighting. I don't know the cause of fight but you should see the amount of anger, hate and pain displayed on their faces.

I asked myself "why are people so angry"?

Later I would also begin to shout on the Taxi driver who mentions a rather high price for a ride, and call him a cheat, or be argue out with a Trotro mate over change (it could be as little as 10 cents).
I would learn how to walk around with a frown, and snap back at anyone who annoys me.

It is the way life. A way to survive. To be angry.

1 comment:

  1. Hi African Chick. Although I'm not African I can really relate to this post. I was born in Colombia, but raised in California (I lived there for 30 years) then came back recently to live here in Medellin, Colombia. I totally get that reverse culture shock! Anyway, I wanted to let you know that I enjoyed your blog and that I too have my own: MedellinBuzz.com. :)