a ferenjwa on ferenji (or ferenjoch, however you want to put it)
I am out of place here and I don’t belong. So the question becomes, why? Why is she here? I wonder the same about other ferenji I see.
One the things that’s most difficult about being here is being obvious and having attention called to it. I’m a nonchalant kind of girl and I use nonchalance regularly to try and avoid detection. It doesn’t work (I still get comments and I still get stared at) but I’m still trying. I attempt to look like a normal person walking down the street. I attempt to look super casual crossing Gotera on foot, but at the same time I wonder, do any other ferenj cross here regularly like me? I saw a girl “of my kind” (as my Ethiopian friends like to joke) yesterday near Gotera. I wondered where she was coming from. Did she just cross Gotera? What is she doing in
Ferenji don’t want to cause a scene. We get stared at. Two ferenji crossing paths feels more like a social experiment in a closed room with people standing around ready to take notes. People are watching to see what will happen. And so we ignore each other. Observations are made but at least we can be sure the conclusion is not “all ferenji know each other.” The other part of it is the message that ferenji in
I like to think it’s humility that motivates us in this respect but in all actuality, it’s ignorance. We’re all asking a lot of questions, but there are no answers. We’re not even trying to find the answers. Being here has been very isolating for me. I need to share experiences with people who understand, who may have better ways of coping and ideas to share. It can’t happen when we can’t even make eye contact. What kind of a message is that to send anyways?