4 things Zimbabweans learn when they move to France

Published by: Matador Network Africa is big. Europe feels it’s important. And in many ways it is, but its inflated sense of self has led it to continually exaggerate its dimensions on the world map. Growing up in Zimbabwe, there was always space, but I only came to fully appreciate just how much we had […]

11 ways you know you’ve become culturally French

Published by: Matador Network 1. A meal is not a meal without bread. 2. You now say bof instead of meh when you’re unimpressed. 3. You know the chorus of “Voyage Voyage” by Desireless even though you’ve never even heard the song. 4. You get people’s references to Les Inconnus. 5. You can keep a straight face while pronouncing movie titles in English with a […]

11 memories you have growing up in Zimbabwe

Published by: Matador Network The Dairibord and Lyons Maid men. In Zimbabwe, the promise of an ice cream sounds like a cowbell. We didn’t have ice cream vans with loud speakers; there were teams of dedicated and extremely fit vendors who cycled all around town pushing cooler tubs on thick rubber wheels while ringing their […]

9 signs your girlfriend is from Zimbabwe

Published by: Matador Network Zambuk is her solution to any medical issue. Zambuk is a fix-it-all herbal ointment that markets itself as The Real Makoya! Have you got a splinter from ice-skating on the floorboards in your socks? Zambuk it. Have you burnt yourself making sadza ne nyama? Zambuk it. Strained a muscle while changing […]

7 things the French do better than you

Published by: Matador Network Strikes and demonstrations While French strikes and demonstrations are generally not as fierce or as heated as in other parts of the world, they are extremely dependable. The French do them well, and, more importantly, they do them regularly. The hard-earned right to strike is protected by France’s constitution (unlike in […]

9 signs you’re still a tourist in France

Published by: Matador Network You consider the wine aisle at the supermarket daunting. There are so many bottles to choose from! The aisle must be at least a mile long. First there are the reds, which blend ever so delicately into the rosés and finally bleach out into the whites. There are sweet wines, dry […]

An interview with Mary Sojourner on her novel 29

Published by: Matador Network Editor’s note: Mary Sojourner, Matador Network contributing editor and writing faculty at MatadorU, has published a new novel, 29 (Torrey House Press). Jo Jackson, one of her students at MatadorU, long-distance interviews Mary about her book below. 29 is available now, and will be officially launched with a benefit reading for Friends of Flagstaff’s Future, […]

3 portraits of death and dying abroad

Published by: Matador Network THE LITTLE GIRL FROM NEXT DOOR slips through the fence and knocks at my parents’ sliding door. She sits herself down at the kitchen table and asks for a biscuit. We’re not really used to having neighbours, but we’re getting better. “Voilà,” my mother says, handing her a chocolate digestive, and […]

Barefoot in Yangon

Published by: Matador Network THE WHITE MARBLE PLATFORM of the Shwedagon Pagoda is warm under my bare feet. Yangon, Myanmar, is already steamy, and it’s only 8am. Up here the hum of engines and sharp bursts of car horns below sound distant, but the humidity is as thick as it is on the root-tangled streets. […]

White South Africa is small

Published by: Matador Network I MUST be giving off bad vibes, because I’m on a Paris to Durban flight full of white Southern Africans and it still takes the woman sitting next to me five gin and tonics before she feels bold enough to talk to me. By the time the captain announces our descent, […]