Saturday, February 27, 2016

論貧困與尊嚴

著者記得從小頻頻聽到父母如此般的教導:“人窮但不能窮志氣”。當時以他那乳臭未乾的小孩身份,對這類教導的具體理解不外于“不能嫉妒同學課後買的零食”這類非常幼稚的想法。坦白講,當時的自己總會覺得“不窮志氣”不過就是爲吝嗇的父母爭面子的某種心態。但是人總會改變。著者走入了勞動者社會,變爲一名被好奇心和刺激感所驅動的國際打工仔。在這個過程中,漸漸的,原來對吝嗇的怨恨被“自我控制”的需求所代替。有限的薪水能滿足一些自我需求,但絕不會是全部。如何選擇突然變成了“志氣”的一個代號。

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Experience and Culture Make Africans Take Epidemics Seriously

It is not everyday that a government official goes around the village with a loudspeaker to make announcements.  And it is even rarer when the announcement called for all eateries in the area to shut down until further notice.  But the government officials went around this time to sound the alarm for a massive cholera outbreak, people obliged quickly.  When they heard that 80-some victims of the outbreak are already lying in the hospital, having a proper sit-down lunch, no matter how simple, becomes much less important.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Questioning Asian Physical Vanity in the Context of an African Hair Cut

It is a bit unfortunate, but it suffices to say that the average African's hair is not particularly suitable for styling.  Genetically created to be hard and not so malleable, attempts at being creative with what is on top of one's head often involves donning a stylized wig.  Of course, for most local males, who neither see the need nor have the financial resources to keep up with such superficial pursuits, the average hair cut becomes not much beyond shaving off extra hair with a simple electric shaver.  With foreign clientele so few and far in between, foreign males pretty much get the same treatment.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Are Non-Black Africans Incentivized to Assimilate?

This blog has noted in the past about just how separate the expat community is from the local one.  Expats come to have their own restaurants, shops, and hobbies that are often not only financially unreachable but also cultural unpalatable for Tanzanians.  The sad reality is that the phenomenon is not limited to expats.  A holdover from the continent's colonial era, still active populations of white and Indian Africans dot even the remote landscapes of rural townships, sometimes making their presence felt in ethnically familiar expat communities or creating their own separate ones.