I found this sign staring at me as I closed the door in a ladies restroom at the shopping mall in Maseru. I could not resist taking out my camera.
The other day, Sister Bernadette, my Principal told me,
“The boys in grade 3 and up to grade 7, are walking to the clinic to get circumcised this morning.”
“What, they just walk to the clinic, have the circumcision and walk back?” I asked.
“Yes,” she smiled. “They are very proud and happy to go.”
“Do their parents go with them?”
“No. Maybe a teacher will go with them,” she said, like this was a school field trip.
I know the walk to the clinic, as I do it every day for exercise, and it’s a steep uphill walk coming home. Sister said the kids walk back to school after the circumcision.
Another Strange Sign, which I found amusing, at the gym in Maseru.
“Members, with foul smelling body odours will be requested to leave the club immediately.”
I can imagine staff sniffing club members, and requesting them to leave because they smell.
Here are two funny names of businesses as I pass them in the taxi to town:
- “The Road Krill Grill,” a restaurant on the way to Maseru.
- “The Vatican Car Wash” next to “Vatican Fast Food and Chips.” They seem to have a thriving business
Inconsistencies, and things I’m finding difficult to get used to culturally.
- Transportation and Time
I’ve told Sheleng, my twenty-one-year old, taxi driver, to please call me when he’s close to my village, as it’s too cold to wait on the dirt road for an hour or so. One day he’s there at 6:30 a.m, the next day at 7:30.
He promised to do that, and when I didn’t hear from him, I called him to ask where he was.
I heard him say something like, “I come back.” I waited and waited, and since his English isn’t good, and my Sesotho isn’t good either, I got Mary (my host mother) to call him. She got off the phone, and couldn’t tell me where he was.
I heard a taxi, and ran to the road, but it wasn’t Sheleng; it was the other driver that stops a million times, trying to cram in as many passengers as possible; I hate riding in his taxi. I was desperate, so I got inside, and then Sheleng called me, and said he was in the next town, one hour ahead of my village. Why couldn’t he have told me that in the first place, instead of making me believe he was on his way.
- The Basotho have no concept of time.
“I’m going to church now, and then I come get you.” Mary says. I look at my watch and it’s 7:40 a.m.
What time are you coming back so I know when to get ready?”
“I come back at 8,” she says.
“You can ‘t come back at 8. That’s twenty minutes from now.
“I come back at 9,” she then says.
It was 10:40, by the time she returned.
- A Catholic religious radio station in my taxi in Lesotho.
Taxis always have their radios blaring either religious stations, accordion music and a man shouting words rather than singing, reggae, Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, uncensored rap with specific words that would be bleeped out on American radio stations, and church choirs.
Here’s what I heard the other day from a female preacher. By the way, the preachers here sound so angry, like they are telling you off. Most of them are speaking Sesotho, but this one switched from Sesotho to English, and here’s what she said.
“You try to be the good submissive wife, but your husband gets the 2nd, 3rd, 4th wife, so why bother?”
I have to say, I’m learning new things every day, which is why life is exciting when you’re out of your comfort zone.