Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Locals Impressions

I want to start by saying that I am so Proudly South African, and that we must never stop being the friendly, warm, wild and welcoming people that we are. 

I was chatting to a young girl at the bus stop last week, she was raised here, and as we were talking about what she wants to do now, she began telling me how she wanted to go and study in Germany. She said that this country is too quiet, too conservative and too closed minded - she wanted to get out. When she heard where we were from, her jaw dropped and she could not believe that we would leave there, no matter for how long, to come here. She literally was speechless and it is one of her "bucket-list things" to visit our home city. It was strange to hear a local say that they struggle to make conversation with other locals because everyone is so reserved - this in contrast, she says, to Germans who will be welcoming and easily strike up a conversation.

We went into a shop to buy pre-paid sim and a young girl came and tried to promote a product with us in French. We told her that we had just arrived and only spoke English. She was very helpful anyway, and as we were talking, My Man asked about English channels on TV, to which her reply was "if you live here, you learn to speak the language". Of course she is right, and I said to her that we will, but give us a chance! I don't think she understood that part - but the sting was there in her comment.

Interestingly she didn't speak the local language either!

In another chat with a local guy, our age, he also said that this nation is quiet and reserved. He made no apologies for it, and why should he have to, it is their culture. We must be such a rude shock to this neighbourhood, where they are conservative and softly spoken - we are loud and gesture wildly. 


Everything is quiet. I swear even the cars and buses are quiet! 
Maybe God is trying to get me to be quiet?

I can't say I am not enjoying it though - I really am.

Enjoying our wine and the backs of lots of people watching some performance in the Square.
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8 comments:

  1. Looking forward to following you journey Lisa. The thing about being an expat is that you often notice things that normal tourists don't. It gives a very interesting perspective. Caroline XX

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    1. Thanks Caroline. Yes, it certainly does and I know that there is a lot more perspective to come!

      Looking forward to following yours too! :)

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  2. Or . . .
    Maybe He wants some of your enthusiasm, verve and energy to rub off in the locals.
    Which I have NO doubt, it will.
    I see your house becoming a hub, a gathering places where there is fun, laughter and friendship.
    Can't wait to see it happen and visit it often.
    XX

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    1. Well - time will tell! Can't wait for you to visit for long and often too! xx

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  3. Hmmm...will take some getting used to! I think you can only be a good influence on them. It will take time and a half to learn French, especially all the verb-changes! Nevertheless, it would be worthwhile and I think you'll manage. Too bad if anybody laughs, as long as you get there in the end. I do think you've got a great attitude towards the locals and that is so important in being acceptable in a foreign country. Don't worry...be happy!
    Lydia Dewey.

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    1. Hi Lydia,
      Yes, it will take a long time to learn, but we are really trying to learn the "everyday" stuff as we go along. Even to the point of asking someone like in a shop we will ask where is the cheese (for example) and then ask them how to say that in French / Lux. They seem quite happy to help us out. :)

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  4. I love that you're doing this, and also writing about it. I wanna sit and drink coffee with you and have a long chat :-)

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    1. Oh that would be SO,So,SO nice!!

      I am sure we would have tons of stuff to chat about. Hope you are feeling more rested? The first 10 days were exhausting for us too, but My Man started work today and I guess this is the beginning of "normal?" (May it never be so!)

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So, what do you think?