[31 Days] Day 5 Stuck

It’s Day 5 of the 31 Days in the Life of a TCK series! Welcome! You can find more info on the series here. Don’t forget to subscribe to follow the journey!

I stepped from one foot to the other, hoping for some progress. 
The task was simple: just go to the shops in a South African township and get some veritable for your phone.

In Germany this is a matter of seconds. 
You stand in a proper line and wait your turn. 
The cashier emotionless takes your money and hands you the piece of paper. 
You’re done.

Well, in South Africa it’s different. 
You need to bring some time. 
There’s no line, rather a group of people in front of the counter. 
Whoever talks first gets served first. 
So I just talk my way to the front and state what I want. 
But it doesn’t work like this. 
You first have to survive the “interrogation”: How are you? How’s the family? How are your 25 chicken? Do you have a cow by now? And don’t you want to marry my son?
A lifestory and some 20 minutes later I successfully leave the store with credit and something to think about.

Whenever we travel and encounter other countries and people, we learn so much. 
We meet people with different skin colors and languages. 
We eat interesting food. 
We get a glimpse into completely different lifestyles. 

But most of all, we learn about ourselves and how much we are stuck in our own cultures and ideas of how life is supposed to work. 
And only if we are willing to let go of some of our customs in exchange for some new we’ll experience the full blessings of travel.

What were some of the hardest things you had to learn abroad and what did you find out about yourself?

Author: Katha von Dessien

Teacher. Believer in the Wilderness. Third Culture Kid. World Traveler. People and Food at the Table Lover. Writer.

2 thoughts on “[31 Days] Day 5 Stuck”

  1. O yes, time is such a big issue and other cultures are the perfect training field for patience! But as much as I struggle with it in other countries – I miss these stories back here in Germany where you shop among strangers and days can go by without friends asking how you are…

  2. Right now, I'm learning to let go of my strict grasp on time! I recently relocated to Mexico and while I'm struggling with the relaxed approach to schedules and appointments, I truly appreciate that no one seems to get worked up over being late.

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