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Addis – day 4

Ciao world.
I am in Addis, officially. Finally.
1stly, to break the ice, let’s start with culture shocks.
culture shock, by definition, is “The shock of moving to a foreign country often consists of distinct phases, though not everyone passes through these phases and not everyone is in the new culture long enough to pass through all four.[1] There are no fixed symptoms ascribed to culture shock as each person is affected differently” [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_shock]

I did every conversation possible to avoid it, I asked about lifestyle, medicines, foods, transportations, weather, life cost, culture, religion. And still I got shocked so many times in these days that I fell a bit ashamed.
Have u ever asked yourself how can you wash your clothes if you feel they are dirty?
I didn’t, I was just giving as granted that washing machine is taking care of them. You maybe need to choose the temperature of the water, you might take care of the different colours you put inside, you also need to make sure you are available around 2 hours later to dry clothes and not to leave them in the machine for too many hours. otherwise the washing has been useless. These have been ones of the main learning point of the year I used to spend in Milano, living together with other 8 students. I was also convinced I was becoming skill din something difficult and advanced.

Then I arrived in Addis, with my bag full of clothes. [I was already feeling proud of myself not having had any kind of issue in the airport with luggage weight. 24 kg out of 23.5 allowed. Simply perfect, i would say]. Better, I arrived here with my mind full of convictions and beliefs. I got to know they represent just a really invisible part of the humanity life conditions. I slept with girls from Addis, Nairobi and Kampala and they just laugh when I asked about washing clothes. “You keep them in a box, and after 1 or 2 weeks you wash them by hands”. What strange face I did. I saw myself embarrassingly funny by the way the enjoyed my question. It’s ok, I’ll simply do it. Or maybe I will beggar for a economic washing machine to keep in the house.   Not because is better, just because is easier.
Are African or European lazy?
Addis 1 – Milano 0

Have you ever watched “Devils wears Prada”? If not, just do it. It can making you thinking quite a bit about work-life balance and the meaning of being a very important person in the fashion system. By the way, my favorite scene is the one when Miranda goes out of the car, and you can just see her shoes, Prada. Awesome, Prada, to be precise. ]

I know many girls dream to walk on 12 cm hills. Some just cannot, some tries with hard to be said results, some are walking, some really run.
I never dreamt to walk, I was just used to do it. With very fancy shoes, actually.
Then I arrive din Addis, with comfortable sneakers [I was already shocked when in italy some of my best friends laugh at me explaining the difference between snackers, gym shoes, casual shoes, smart casual shoes and business casual shoes]. I thought is better to be comfortable. I am still convinced it is. I walked on cement, grass, powder, ground, rocks. Just to reach the restaurant and a internet point. I was very proud of my sneakers. Then something happened. Walking in front of me there were 3 girls, I suppose they were 18, walking easily on 12cm hills. On the same type of road I was walking in. How can they do it? Is that real?
How can European girls complain about their hills?
have I ever been too much fancy? After this sight, I am feeling like a bullshitting person. Shocking Addis. Right now, I don’t think I will ever make it. Really. Addis 2 – Milano 0.

My scores are going down. Fortunately today I met something I was able to face.
Crazy traffic in the city. I supposed people are moving on sunday. Yes, I was right.
But it was not just that. The city center was hosting a car racing. Awesome.
All Fiat 500, Fiat 600, Fiat 850. OMG. A rally in the center of the city run by ’70s and ’80s cars. I don’t know if here is considered to be vintage or is just the way cars racing are organized. There was none I knew to ask for it. I just saw it and shoot because I want it to be remembered and maybe spread. Is funny because I come from the city of 1000 Miglia, I love the racing and I love their marketing.
I felt like Addis 2 – Home 1.

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During these 4 days I don’t know how many things changed my point of view of life.
I cannot count them, I just feel I want to share some of them in nutshell. All the rest will come, as soon as I find a sensual and simple way to tell it.
I heard a CSR manager speaking few days before leaving. He was presenting his book and a company philosophy which I actually like a lot. It states “Sense and Simplicity”. I really want to tell out of the box stories with some sense and simplicity.

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One thought on “Addis and the cultural shock

  1. Don’t be too surprised about the 12cm hills which girls wear in here. They would do anything to look beautiful.

    I really like the creativity of your writing. it is simple and readable. Keep writing!

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