You know you’re in Eswatini when…

  • People are dancing in public, teenagers are walking home from school, dancing, a man waits for the bus, dancing, a lad waits for his food to be served, dancing- Wow do I feel at home! Imagine if you’d spent your life supporting a very obscure sports team and finally arrive in that town… that’s how this feels 😆 (except it’s the whole country) also same for singing.

  • You feel it’s very normal to have lizards all around your garden and on your walls outside, crickets, chameleons, snake in shed…

  • You know there are far worse things to stress about than waiting… waiting for something that is delayed is an act of relaxation and a chance to chat to a stranger, not something worth making you angry

  • A price is a suggestion- for example if something does have a pricetag and you want two, you can begin a conversation

  • In business there is always an opportunity to negotiate while you are honest and polite

  • Your children will be welcomed everywhere with friendly banter

  • Hitchhikers are very expressive in every way, and having each belted seat space filled is not considered being full! ( And the gentleman you picked up called Wanda is actually Wonder)

  • A little SiSwati goes a long way

  • A smile is highly rewarded

  • If you hear a high pitched hum it’s not electrical, it’s the cicadas and it’s November “Christmas Beetles”

  • Winter is serious but mercifully short, and you probably won’t get a single cold

  • Pretty candles aren’t for Winter they’re for Summer – because summer means lightning storms not just sun- bye bye power

  • You ask an awkward question and after a moment get a carefully considered answer, because tactfulness matters and is a virtue you find everywhere

  • Greeting strangers is like when British fellow dog-walkers say a cheery hello on vacation, in the countryside on a popular walking trail, on a public holiday- except almost everywhere, on every ordinary day, and you don’t have a dog to break the ice, people are just actually that friendly…

Rachel Smart

Missionary, mummy and mime artist

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