Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Marriage Contracts

“Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.” ~Guillaume Apollinaire

As I befriend more and more Kenyans, typically they will ask questions about what the U.S. is like:
[note 'your place' is the literal translation used to refer to the states]

"Are there dirt roads like this at your place?" "Well yes, but not in citys/towns"

"Are there poor people in your place?" "Yes"
"(Surprised look on the face) Really? But there surely are no slums like Kibera." "Well yes there are poor people. Yes there are some slums in the states"
(Sometimes) "You must be playing" "No lie."

One of the more interesting conversations usually goes something like this:
...(conversation about money or business or some random office-type conversation)"...everything in the US is contracts eh?" "Pretty much, keeps the working people keep on working hard"
"I hear there are even contracts for marriages even. People can just decide to be together for 2, 3, 5 years and then its over." "No, that's not true at all."
"What do you mean its not true" "It's not true. There is no such thing as a marriage contract. In the US, just like in Kenya, once you're married, you're married."
Typically responses vary once I say this. The various responses include: blank stares, complete denial - to the point of 'jokingly' telling me I must be joking, and sometimes the people will actually believe that I'm speaking the truth.

On a side note, today I heard from a neighbor that she's won the Green Card Lottery.
So today's conversation was very different from the typical (above).

She now has to go through a medical check and an interview.

Today's conversation was more along the lines of:
"I'm screwed on the interview, what do they mostly ask?" "I'm not sure, they might ask you why you want to go to the US"
"What else will they ask?" "I have no idea, but just be yourself and be honest. You'll be fine."

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