Settling down in Maputo

 

Two months have passed since I arrived in Maputo, and the state of extreme cultural shock has ended. It is becoming easier to look back and reflect on my experiences and reactions.One thing is becoming clearer and clearer to me: my life is completely different. Not worse or better, just different. Completely.

The big things like climate, social life and way of living have of course completely changed. But as a Norwegian exchange student in a Sub-Saharan African city, I was prepared for that. I mean, I already knew that “Africa” is extremely hot, and that “African” people tend to be more direct in social settings.

The real difference though, lies in the small things; Going to sleep at 20:00 because of the winter-like darkness, buying liquor at a gas station, and music everywhere! Isolated, these things are not good or bad seen from a Norwegian perspective, at least not from a Claus perspective. But they are not isolated – they come in hundreds and hundreds, and around every corner you will find a new one. You never know what to expect!

So, how to cope with an everyday-life like this? What I found out for myself is that I have to stop believing I will understand how everything works around here. Instead of trying to adapt to all the unexpected situations, I rather adapt to the feeling of never knowing what to expect.

Besides from culture shock and extreme heat, these two months have certainly been the most interesting ones of my life. I am really looking forward to the rest of the exchange!

The biggest difference of them all is not speaking the "right" language. Luckily, learning portuguese has turned out to be one of my favourite activities! Here from a class with our great teacher, Arseno.

The biggest difference of them all is not speaking the “right” language. Luckily, learning Portuguese
has turned out to be one of my favourite activities! Here from a class with our great teacher, Arseno.

 

 

A small but heart breaking incident: thinking you are buying chicken filet, which turns out to be chicken stomachs. Eating these enchiladas became an interesting story in itself! Maybe I should blog on that next time.

A small but heart breaking incident: thinking you are buying chicken filet, which turns out to be chicken stomachs. Eating these enchiladas became an interesting story in itself! Maybe I should blog on that next time.

Claus Solbakken
Claus Solbakken

Claus is a 19 and a half year old classical guitarist from Fredrikstad. The first of September 2015 Claus moved to Maputo, where he is going to work at Music Crossroads Mozambique. He started playing guitar as a child, and discovered classical music when he began his studies at Greåker high school of music. Claus is hoping to be able to work as a classical musician, but also to discover new and exiting parts of the Mozambican music culture.

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