Saturday, November 26, 2011

Just when I think life can’t get anymore awkward, it inevitably does.

I’m used to awkward situations, they seem to gravitate towards me, and for the most part I embrace them. Since coming to Nam, I’ve become used to going to events where I don’t know a single person, am the only American, and don’t understand what anyone’s saying unless they’re making an effort to talk to me. It’s cool, I like observing anyway. I’ve also become used to encounters with annoying guys trying to creep. One once chased my friends and I to our cab… that was funny [he was sloppily drunk] and a little unnerving at the same time. Interestingly, though in America the opposite is often true, in Namibia whenever alcohol becomes involved, I’ve noticed that the awkward situations tend to escalate.

I had to wait a while to think about my life before I wrote up this story. Eventually, I decided that because something even more awkward has since happened this prior incident can be posted.

So towards the end of training, some PCTs started spending a bit of time at our favorite hangout, Club Opouri. Since it had become apparent that my host family didn’t really care about me so much, it follows that I wanted to spend all my free time with all the other trainees. Our Club-O meetings were fun, and I learned I love Hunter’s Dry Cider. One day, we got off training early, so we had some extra time at Club-O before it got dark. Of course, once darkness falls we had to be home, so we hopped in a cab and got back around 8ish. By this time most of us had had a sufficient amount of ‘cokes’ as one of our trainers would say in reference to his drinking habits. I got home and was more willing than usual to make an effort to get my host family to talk to me - the drinks provided me with a shield of sorts that brushed off their ambivalent [or sometimes depressing] responses to my attempts at conversation. After a quick dinner, I went to my room to get to bed, it was getting late!

As I was crawling into bed, one of my host sisters knocked on my door and came in. She was like “Listen Claire, as you can tell, the house is packed right now because people are here for my birthday. So, my friend needs to sleep in here tonight.” And standing behind her was this 20 year-old girl, who I had met about 30 minutes before this conversation. She continued, “She has nowhere else to sleep, every bed’s full, and it’ll just be for tonight. Since you have a bigger bed than me she needs to stay here” Her imposing attitude, my slightly tipsy state, and the fact that the girl was right there so I didn’t want to cause a scene/seem selfish got me to agree to this strange scenario… Bizarrely, my good logic and sense weren’t around, because if they were I would have told my host sister “Hey, this is weird, she should sleep on the floor in your room like a normal friend would when staying over, or maybe go chill on the couch, not stay with a complete stranger.” Anyway, about halfway through the night I woke up extremely angry, first because I realized I’d been duped. My host sister made me believe it would have been the end of the world for this girl to sleep on the floor. No, that’s normal! Second, the girl was hogging my bed, and spooning me. Being spooned by a strange girl falls under things that are: So.Not.Cool. The next morning I tried to give her the hint to get out by turning on my computer and playing music starting at 7am, but nope she didn’t budge until 9, on one of the few days I could have actually slept in!!!! And that, dear readers, is the story of the time in Namibia I woke up with a stranger in my bed. Still don’t know her name. As Namibians would say, aaatata.

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