I usually don’t like to post twice in one day, but this was just too good not to share. I got an email from my friend Elizabeth today with a link to a new website called “Stuff Expat Aid Workers Like”. Always interested in a good laugh, I clicked on the link and found that the most recent post has pretty much nailed me (and some of our close friends here) right on the head. What do Expat Aid workers like today? Motorcycles!:
Expat Aid Workers love motorcycles.*
Riding motorcycles underscores an Expat Aid Worker’s “freedom” and simultaneous (not to mention ironic) “connectedness” to the local geography and people. Nothing says “I am in solidarity with the attainable aspirations of the poor majority” quite like weaving through traffic on a Honda Dream II or Soviet-era Minsk. At the same time, an Expat Aid Worker astride a motorcycle declares both a risk-embracing approach to life and sexual availability to potential partners (expat and locals.)
While I may not be sexually available, this is spot on for about a trillion reasons, first and foremost because I JUST wrote the post about how “when Duvalier moves, the only way to keep up is by motorcycle.” (It’s just below, or here) There is no doubt that this is about the funniest thing I have read in a long time, but it’s kind of weird how at the same time I feel slightly embarrassed. I have definitely told multiple people that one of the reasons why having a motorcycle is awesome here is because the people seem to connect with you better. There’s also this gem:
A motorcycle can also help distinguish Expat Aid Workers from non-EAWs (normally foreign extractive industry professionals, diplomats, or private security contractors) who exclusively rely on white SUVs (preferably Landcruisers) for transportation.
I SAY THAT TOO!!! “Riding a motorcycle keeps you from being in the box that the big SUVs put you in,” I tell passengers on Pinotage who have no option but to listen to me talk, “Driving a motorcycle allows you to connect with your surroundings.”
So there, now that I’ve been pegged I don’t know what to do, as I’m about to jump on the moto to pick up Jillian, but will now be incredibly self-conscious when driving by, well, practically anyone. But it’s cool, my whole life here can’t be a cliche, right? I just hope they don’t write one about having dogs and cats….oh wait, they already did.