On Friday I went to visit a very good local friend of mine. We have a close relationship and she certainly follows local cultural practices by being ‘frank’ and forward with me.

I don’t necessarily think I have put on that much weight, but what an on-slaught I received this time. She calls me my maiden name ‘Spencer’ (just easier for locals to pronounce). “Spencer, you are now fat! Spencer you have gained weight! Spencer, you have seriously grown fat! Everywhere! Even here (points to neck), here (points to arms), everywhere!” (Daniel at this point is laughing himself senseless, but thankfully denied that any of this was true afterwards).

Even when I hopped on the back of the motorbike to leave, she yells out: “even the tyre of the bike is going down!”

I know she had the best of intentions when saying these things. It’s a compliment locally, means I look really healthy and happy.


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