May 4, 2010

The topless insanity of itchy appreciation

You may want to read the whole post over at G-lish. Here is an excerpt:

"I’m a woman on the brink of insanity with itchiness. It’s a painful, prickling itchy. I have heat rash across my back, my neck and ears, just like this time last year, but worse. It feels like the chicken pox, or a bee sting, or the reaction I get to insecticide-treated malaria nets. I want to scratch my skin off. I can’t touch my face as it hurts, as though my fingers have tiny razors in their tips and microscopic glass shavings have embedded themselves in my lips, forehead and nose.
This comes as I receive an email from a reader of This is Ghana which made me worry about how I’ll make peace with all this life when I return home.

We’d corresponded on and off and I wrote to her that adjusting to life at “home” can often prove more challenging than adapting to a foreign culture like Ghana. Returning home is “reverse culture shock” I said.

She replied:  Going back home was very difficult…just being shocked at how we live in Australia- how much we have, how much we waste, and how much we take for granted without being appreciative or even realising that not everyone in the world is as privilleged as we are.

This has been my fear for the better part of my time living and traveling abroad for the past five years. Back after Japan, when I struggled for months to re-adjust after one year on the island of Shikoku, it was just cultural and I was young. Now it’s much more than that.

I struggled with affluence before I experienced life in a poverty-stricken country. I knew something was very messed up with the wholesale brainwash of Christmas gift-giving years before I arrived in Ghana.

This is my fear. How to integrate. How to pretend. How not to go mad. How not to lose a lot of friends. How to reconcile the two?"

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