Lately, I have been reading/studying an old school book called Humility by Andrew Murray. If you have any desire to feel like you are epically failing in being humble in your walk with the Father, I highly recommend it. I promise you that you will be challenged…and humbled 🙂 In the book it talks about using those circumstances in your life where people try your nerves as an opportunity to humble yourself before man and before the Father. Graciously, the Father has allowed many such opportunities to come into my life lately 🙂
This brings me to the title of the blog – the different ways in which I am commonly addressed. I considered titling it, “The names people here call me,” but not everything is actually a name. I also thought about “The different names that I answer to,” but usually I don’t answer to these things, so that isn’t accurate either. I finally settled on the first title mentioned, because it covers the fact that these are ways that I am addressed, but doesn’t mention whether or not I actually answer. Below is a list for your enjoyment:
“Firinge” (usually said with disdain)
“China” (usually said by a little kid and met with laughter by me because I find it so ridiculous)
“Money, Money!” (also usually a kid)
“Seester” (What they mean is sister)
“Hi! How are you!”
“You are beautiful”
“I love you”
“I want to marry you”
Some of these greetings really aren’t so bad, but what is interesting about them is that they are generally made as statements, almost like an announcement as I walk past. Most of the time I don’t think they actually expect a response back, they sometimes are just wanting to show off their English or call you a name. I think sometimes they just think it is funny to yell something at you and see if you will actually respond.
One of my favorites was the day I got told I was beautiful. I was coming back from the gym with my hair wet and pulled into a ponytail, no makeup on and the acne flaring everywhere, big sunglasses on, and the baggiest clothes I think I have ever put on hanging off my body. At that moment, some genius guy says “you are beautiful.” I think I might have laughed out loud. If he was able to see anything about me, it certainly wasn’t a very lovely representation and yet he still made that statement. That is when you know that they don’t really know what they are saying, but are using whatever English they know, no matter the context.
My other favorite way to be addressed that is not listed above (because it isn’t a name) is by a whistle. By whistle, I don’t mean like a cat-call (not that that would be any better), I mean like the way you would whistle for a dog. Sometimes, if they say “hello” or “you” and I don’t turn around, then they will whistle at me. Let me tell you how much more it makes me want to turn around when someone whistles at me like I am a dog. Yeah, not much.
Although, I get addressed all sorts of ways here, I still also have those pleasant greetings where people are just trying to be friendly or polite. The other nice surprise is that sometimes little kids will see me and come running up to me just to smile, say “hi” and shake my hand. I haven’t really figured out why some kids look at me with disgust and say “firinge” and others literally treat me like I am a celebrity. I certainly prefer the celebrity treatment though 🙂