One of the things I am finding this year that is making me feel both more integrated and more alien is lottery tickets.
These are ABSOLUTELY p.e.r.v.a.s.i.v.e in the culture here. There are tickets for the lottery itself....the gordo at Christmas, which means the fat one.....the most coveted prize, but every single association gets the kids to sell lottery tickets, and lots of them. We are at this point selling tickets for the basketball team, the weekly kids community group, Eldest's high school and the mountaineering group. Actually, that is not the whole truth, because we're not selling mountaineering ones, we just bought a bunch of them.
You see - and this is the part that makes me feel alien to the culture - but just call me a puritanical type, but it seems odd for kids to be flogging lottery tickets. Faintly Dickinsian. So we don't ask the kids to sell them. Also, as I work in the village, and so did the man when he had work, there is an extremely limited market from which we can buy. EXTREMELY, as there are probably 200 kids in basketball, another 150 in the community centre, plus another 90 selling the high school tickets.....and then the mountaineering crowd. Talk about saturated market.
So, we buy them ourselves. Almost all of them. The ones for Eldest's school we are trying not to, as they go toward her end of year trip and the more we sell, the less we have to pay, so buying the tickets for those is WILDLY illogical.
Sometimes it is these weird little things that make you feel like a foreigner.