Thursday, November 12, 2009


24 of us (we almost filled a whole minibus) left Tofo for our homestays at 3:30am this morning. I took Imodium this time. American conceptions of privacy and personal space simply don’t exist here. Once, my mom brought up the fact that I was on my period in dinner conversation. When walking around town, it is quite common to bump you as they walk by, because it’s simply not rude to make physical contact. On chapas, you can just forget any personal space. People are crammed four across into the seat, so there is barely room for everyone, and on the chapa ride today both women on either side of me fall asleep and one ended up with her head on my shoulder and the other was basically sleeping in my lap. One thing that bothers me is that saying “excuse me” basically gives people license to physically move you out of the way. But at least they are polite about it, I suppose. I didn’t realize until I wrote the date that it is Veterans Day. That means that in Culver, Indiana some 900 kids and adults are standing outside freezing their asses off.

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