It’s hot here at the moment. We go to bed sweaty and we wake up that way. So when I’m indoors at home, I wear different clothes to when I’m outside: shorter skirts, or shorts and a T-shirt. When I go out I still wear my longer cotton dresses, but I change as soon as I get home as they are soaked with sweat anyway.
The complication is that lots of people come to our door, from vegetable sellers to council officials. I answered the door the other day in a skirt that sits slightly above the knee. At the door was the lady who collects the monthly council fees. We’ve chatted a fair bit in the past. She’s a Christian and had invited me to her church.
As she filled in the receipt for me, she kept stealing glances at my knees so I figured I’d better explain. I started out by saying I was dressed like an mzungu (white person) but this didn’t fly: after all I’m a Christian! The heat was not an excuse either. She was finally mollified when I told her that it’s only inside I wear such scandalous clothes and when I go out I wear longer skirts.
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.