That's just their way of life: get used to it.


I can't even count how many times I've heard this statement since I moved to Jand and I still can't wrap my head around how it can be. Maybe in time I will.
I'm speaking about the general jand-oyinbo behaviour of smiling in front of you and stabbing you behind the back.

It's in the way the person in your child's school/nursery who you are so chummy with and can swear you both have "connected" and "gotten" each other throws you under the bus the next minute to children services and says that you "abused" your child if they heard you firmly scolding them or spanking them when they did wrong.
It's in the way someone smiles at you in the workplace and asks about your welfare and yet this person is the one reporting you for something- and coming right back to smile at you- you are confused as you cannot tell where this betrayal is coming from and if you happen to show your annoyance by becoming tight-lipped around the person and refusing to chat about anything except as it pertains to work ( and very politely too) you are termed "hostile and anti-social". They throw you under the bus and yet expect that you sweep it all under the carpet and smile like it's a very normal thing.
It is the way someone notices how unfairly you've been treated, corners you and whispers conspiratorially, "Oh dear, she/he(the manager in question) is the absolute worst! I don't even know how I can stand working with him/her!" and the next minute you see her shinning her thirty-two like a fish head with this same "absolute worst" and obsequiously kissing their ass- how can people even manage this feat? #sigh
But the Africans who've lived long here look at you in surprise for having not realised that, "Ah-ah, what are you complaining about? It's their way of life my dear, it means absolutely nothing to them- you better get used to it".

Another phrase I hear is, "Make no mistake, no jand-oyinbo is your friend o; best you can be to them is an acquaintance so, don't go thinking you've made friends and start chatting chit....".
And I've been sorely burned too so I've found out for myself that this statement contains some truth to it yet, I find myself still struggling to accept it. I keep thinking, "Surely, not ALL, as in, ALL- I can still make one good jand-oyinbo friend who gets me....". Your statement is met with an indulgent look and a further, "I've told you, anyone who's lived here long enough will tell you the same, the sooner you realise this and get used to it the better".
In the past, I used to look at foreigners/immigrants in a foreign country who moved together as really annoying- why did they not try to integrate and mix up with others? Didn't they realise that moving in groups like that didn't give them the opportunity to mingle with the people of the land and, at least, learn a new culture- wasn't that the whole essence of "travel"? Why travel and still not want to learn the ways of the people in whose land you are residing?
That was before I began to experience the difficulty in acculturizing- it is possible but it is not very easy and you might struggle with it if it's vastly different from your culture.

Anyway, I'm sure I'll adapt in time but it does get a bit depressing to think you may not be able to sincerely make friends with the people you interact with everyday and have to basically be cautious all the time because you just never know where "it"( that "weirdness" that can sometimes feel like deep-rooted prejudice) will spring up from but, it's all good.
God has been in the business of making His own to excel in a strange land so my case is no different.
It is well in Jesus name. Amen.

How are you and how's your week going? Any Jand dweller that can relate to my post? Please share your thoughts abeg, no vex....

Until my next post,
Love Always,
Judgejudyjudy...
X

P.s: I'm sure you understand why I have used "jand-oyinbo". Sometimes, you just never know why some of the challenges you are facing are coming your way, no need to kpoola okwu aha, it is what it is: any aproko is free to knock themselves out with the translator but agaghim akpo okwu aha. kpom kwem.
The majority of my page views are mostly from jand so, you just never know....

8 comments

  1. Over the years I have found the same thing, especially about work.. you never know who you can really trust. I have been really burned myself... I have a friend at work now, one that we tell each other personal stuff outside of work... those are really hard to come by xox (don't give up, there are good people, I think we could be good friends... too bad I am not closer) xox

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    1. Lol!
      I think we'll be best of friends Launna!

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  2. Unfortunately, I can't relate. But there are always exceptions to every rule. I believe you would find exceptions soon enough.

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  3. Just like you, I believe we should not limit ourselves to just our comfort zone. It's a struggle to integrate but I have managed to make friends (2-4 or so) whom are no longer acquaintances but yet not close friends. But I have made family from an older lady. We truly live like family and know every secret concerned. So I say yes it's possible. It just takes patience to understand them and them you, plus willingness on both sides to adapt to each other's culture-----UGO

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    1. I get what you mean when you say " no longer acquaintances and yet not close friends". It can be pretty tricky walking that line- that was the line I was on before I was sorely burned and it happened every time so I got really confused.....
      Gotcha UGO..... :) ;)

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  4. Lols nne wisdom is profitable to direct, please do not kpoola okwu aha oh loooools

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