Thursday, July 08, 2010

I weep for the future.

Ok, do I have some bad karma I need to know about? Cause fuck me.

Without going into much detail, my accommodations in Cape Town have changed. This is a week away and they apologized for the last minute change, but holy balls. So I WAS going to be living with a single woman and potentially one other volunteer in a pretty decent-sounding part of the city.

Now? Now it's different.

I think the part of town is still decent, but it is decidedly different. It's far more diverse economically (read: there is only wealthy and destitute). Also, something about how the area is really warm and tight-knit, because ohhhhhhh, something about how the area is ravaged with AIDS/HIV. This is not a problem, several of the clients I'll be working with are probably from this region, that's fine. Here's my problem. I'm living with a couple with four daughters (no one's terribly young) and the room I'm in is for up to 4 volunteers, with bunk beds. So AT LEAST 7 other people. I was really digging the single chick idea. And no offense, but who the fuck are these other volunteers? One I can deal with, but it's not terribly smart for me to blindly just trust these other volunteers who may not even be there for law, I have no idea.

It gets better. The family is strictly Muslim, and you know, that's cool, whatever. They are very accepting of other people's religion (um, or non religion, I hope?) but because they have a strict Muslim house they do not drink and all their food is prepared halaal. (For the record, that just means no pork, blood, alcohol and no meat that isn't slaughtered in Allah's name.) I think the slaughter process is itself a special one and one that is somewhat controversial for its humaneness. I really am not sure. In any case, all my lunches and dinners come from this house. I'm sure the food is yummy, not all that worried about it, though the slaughter process doesn't do a whole lot for me, but as a meat-eater, I'm not about to open that can of worms.

I also get that while THEY don't drink alcohol, that may not preclude me from doing so, but come on. If they have a strict Muslim household and lifestyle, I'm not going to be the arrogant asshole who brings alcohol into their home, mmmkay? And normally I would just work at a bar before going home or after dinner, but you're not supposed to be out alone at night, so there goes that. And not to sound like a total alky, but considering the sort of work I'm gonna be doing...MAMA'S GONNA NEED A DRINK AT THE END OF THE DAY.

So I wrote back and tried to explain that the prior arrangement was far better suited to me and tried to find a way to convey my NEEDS as diplomatically as possible (something like, "wow, I'm used to working in Japan where alcohol IS ESSENTIAL..*COUGH*). Radio silence for now.

I mean, it's all an adventure and I'll fuckin' get through whatever and I'm happy to make do with whatever I get, but come the fuck on. One week to go and you dump this shit on me? FAIL FAIL FAIL.


alex said...

Now? Now it's different.

Arg. Such radical changes would be a dealbreaker for me. :/ (Okay, that and the whole "you're not supposed to be out alone at night" thing.)

Bummer that they pulled this out at the last minute. I hope everything works out okay!

Ellen Aim said...

Yeah, S said the same thing, but I seem to have this non-refundable ticket to Cape Town for a month.

Meh, it'll be an how to smuggle alcohol home and drink it in the bathroom...HAHAHAA. :/

And in Cambodia we weren't supposed to be out after dark, either. It's just a precaution, it's not really a BIG DEAL. Just bein' safe.

Anonymous said...

I'd call it a deal breaker, too, but for that damn plane ticket. Pulling that on you at the last minute is just not okay. I hope they can find more suitable accommodations for you :/

Triana said...

Oh gads! I hope they can work that out. Yeah, the first deal sounds like the real winner. I wish I could loan you my boot flask!

Be safe over there!

Ellen Aim said...

I think it will work out. Apparently the single woman was problematic, lots of complaints. (?) Whatevs.

Still not thrilled about living with 40 people (or whatever), but I'll just take it in stride. No matter what I'm going to be spoiled after Sweden. (Though it HAS to be cheaper, JEEEEZUZ.)

Corinthian said... That's not cool in the least. I hope things work out. If not, you'll just have to come home early!