The Coshocton County Fair is on once again, Fair Time in Town. This is our fourth and definitely our final one ... given that in a couple of months we won't be living in the country anymore!
Abigail has been looking forward to it for months. We told her that when Grandma and Gramps came again we would be going to Fair ... so their arrival has been much anticipated as well! The rides and the animals are her favourite parts and she didn't waste much time jumping on the carousel with Gramps once we got to the rides section.
This year both me and Mark got to see it from a slightly different point of view. All the entrances are manned with people taking money for tickets and others stamping people's hands for re-entry. Our church, Coshocton Christian Tabernacle, provides volunteers to stamp hands at one entrance for the whole week of the fair. In return, the church are paid for helping man that entrance and the volunteers are given two free tickets for entry into the fair.
This morning we shared a 4 hour shift, stamping the right hand of everybody who came in with an orange stamp. It was a fun experience meeting new people who we worked with and then chatting to all kinds of fair-goers through the windows of their cars and trucks. There were cars with just one or two ... or trucks packed with people all coming to enjoy different elements of the fair.
It reminded me of when I used to work in retail (when I was studying, to save some money) and all the banter the went along with that. I had forgotten what it was like to have a couple hours off from mummy-dom to 'work' and I really enjoyed it.
Random people were asking what my accent was ... because I'm not from round here. One guy asked me if I was Australian and when I told him I was from London, England, his response was 'It's all the same isn't it' ... er, NO!! I very politely told him we lived on the opposite side of the world from Australia and had completely different accents and tried to make a joke out of it, while thinking, 'DOH'!
It reminded me of some stories a good Australian friend of mine once shared, from when she was travelling through the States a few years ago. She was asked questions like 'Do you get the same movies as us? Do you just have them with sub-titles?' and 'When Australia declared their independence from England did you have to redefine the borders of your country?'. She was as dumbfounded as me today ... thinking ... we speak English, just like you and we live on an island, our nations borders haven't had to be changed!!!
When we talk about going to Tanzania, most people here don't know what or where that is, so now we say just we're going to East Africa to ease the confusion. Our experience has been that geography outside of the States isn't something that Americans are are too hot on. By the same token though, my American geography was pretty rubbish until I moved here. It's always been such a big faraway continent that I haven't needed to get my head around so I've enjoyed the chance to widen my horizons while we've lived here ... and widen those of the people I've come into contact with a little too!