Men and women…

28Aug08

Right, I’m really not very good at keeping this up to date, am I?  I think I might just post some random observations, and try and get you up to date on my comings and goings properly some time soon.  My laptop is at the laptop hospital at the moment, with a faulty motherboard, so that’s this week’s excuse for not writing more…

 

So, I’m having 1:1 meeting with the staff at BasicNeeds to get their ideas on some of the areas I’ve decided we could improve at BN – if no one agrees with me I may need to go back to the drawing board or come up with an even bigger marketing strategy to get some support, otherwise the feeling of head against brick wall will only continue…  I had my first meeting yesterday with a male colleague, sitting at a round table.  When we came to the table the chairs were opposite each other, so once we’d sat down I moved my chair round a little to be nearer him, to make it feel less like an interview situation, you know, just trying to generate an informal feel so he felt more like telling me his inner most thoughts.  However, I soon as I moved round, he moved round so we continued to be opposite each other.  So, here’s an example of the cultural differences I’m still trying to learn – male-female proximity is still quite formal. 

 

And following on the male-female theme I think I may have caused a small road traffic accident the other morning while I was walking to work…  Don’t worry, there were no fatalities.  In the Raj (as I like to call my living and working area, otherwise known as Rajagiriya) there don’t seem to be any other Westerners, especially not white western women who walk along the side of the road (due to the lack of a proper pavement, rather than a death wish), so I get stared at by everyone and particularly by men.  So on the fateful morning I was walking my usual route which involves crossing over a busy road (well, all roads are busy here) which I cross to the middle section, then finally cross another bit which actually crosses two roads which merge together – imagine the Tollcross junction, only bigger and without traffic lights.  So I’m doing as I was taught in the Tufty Club, and looking both ways before I stepped out, in the second I looked from right to left I heard a crunch, and when I looked right again two motorcycles had collided.  Now, I don’t want to blow my own trumpet, but I have noticed how male vehicle drivers (be it bikes, trishaws, cars or lorries) do stare at me, not because I’m gorgeous or anything, just because I’m odd and a woman and they like to stare.  I do wonder whether one of the motorbike drivers was staring at the odd white bird standing on the middle bit of the road, with a couple of bags and a brolly, rather than checking if anything was coming from the road that they were merging into.  Anyway, suffice to say I did that really crap British thing of not quite knowing whether to speak to the riders, so I lingered (while all the other traffic honked and maneuvered past) and checked that they got up OK and carried on walking…

 

I’ve had a good but frustrating week at work this week – the annual planning process is upon us for 2009 (yes, they’re that organised!) so I get to be all anal and ask trick questions about why, when, who, how much and really?!  I’m working on Saturday, but in Tangalle, so I get to stay and enjoy the beach afterwards, which is just as well, I’m getting picked up at 4.30am…

 

We went to the Kandy Perahera a couple of weekends ago, here are the photos http://www.new.facebook.com/album.php?aid=52678&l=82ca6&id=676344121, I’ll try and post some words soon.

 

So, that’s enough for now.  I have to go and pick up my laundry – a weekly luxury to get my towels and sheets cleaner than I could manage.

 

Take care!

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2 Responses to “Men and women…”

  1. 1 claire k

    of course you are gorgeous sarah!!! (especially in yer see you jimmy hat!)

    xxxx

  2. 2 Jeni

    Hi Sarah,
    Lost your email so thought I’d give you a shout through the blog. Sounds like your having an amazing time and I’m very jealous. Same old stuff going on at Napier. We’ve got new students starting on the MSc and I’m missing you being there to help me out! Take care and enjoy every minute!


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