Some cultural tidbits, sweet and sour

Inviting people to your food is a politentess that I love here. In America, we constantly coach childrent to say please and thank you. Here, every adult is chiding kids about inviting everyone to eat your food with them. “Vouset invete”, you must say, if you are eating in front of other people.  Its something I sometimes forget to do and if I do, I am reminded like a child- “Am I envited?” By people nearby. You could be in a resteraunt eating the same thing as the person next to you and they will look up and say “your invited.” Even cuter is if the lady who sells the food sits down to eat some of the food you just bought from her, she too will invite you.
Another cultural constant is unbelievably late people. An example: Today my Ngoni teacher and me had a meeting time this afternoon. I was also supposed to do the patine for my sculptures, this morning. I cam to work, with my face mask, and Isa (Patrone of the forge) said, “Oh, I will go buy the acid right now.” I was not surprised tha he hadnt done this as I have spent enought time in Africa not to expect fallow through with plans, but I was a bit worried that the patine wouldnt happen until I was supposed to meet my Ngoni teacher. Isa said to come back at 14 (2) o clock. My Ngoni teacher came 2 hours late, at 14 o clock, but I went to tell Isa to wait for me for an hour, and he said, Oh, I will go get the acid right now, (which is exactly what he had six hours earlier, and 2 days earlier, for that matter) It seemed like a little blessing to me, because at this point I was double dated, so I went back to work on my Ngoni. My teacher, Amedou, said he would fix the neck of the Ngoni and come back in the evening. I went back to my work and Isa hadnt left yet. I literally urged him onto his moto and asked exactly what time to come back. He said 2 hours and I went to get tea with my very dependant friend Aziz, who if I neglect for 24 hours thinks I dont want to be his friend anymore. I called Isa from the shop and he was looking for the patine. I came back and it was getting dark. Yes he had found it. I got pissy. “Its nighttime now! How can I do the patine when I cant see! My day is waisted!”  I fumed.  When I get mad around here, people hide. I guess I just get madder at people here. Isa said 9:00 tomorrow. Then I called Amedou. The wood isnt finished. 9:00 tomorrow. I didnt even bother to tell him I had another plan at that exact time. If one of those things actually happens I will be amazed.


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