2006/08/02

Time to leave?

While I was home for summer vacation, one of the most frequent questions I was asked was "How long are you going to stay?" It is a really good question, and Bss and I have been talking about it. Well, now, thanks to Destitute Rebel, I have a checklist to let me know when I have been here too long:

You know you have lived in the Middle East too long when:

1. You're not surprised to see a goat in the passenger seat
Check, I haven't seen this yet, but I wouldn't be surprised.

2. You think the uncut version of "Little House on the Prairie" is provocative
Can't check this one yet, but Bss and I were talking about how strange it was to see so much skin on people at home.

3. You serve coffee in a thimble
Not yet.

4. You understand that everyone's first name isn't Al
What? It isn't? (Just kidding. Check)

5. Your need a sweater when it's 80 degrees in the shade
Not yet

6. You understand "no problem" means "essential you follow up"
Oh boy, is this a check

7. You think a picnic means pulling over on the side of the road with your TV and live goat.
Not yet

8. You believe that speed limits are only advisory
Nope, haven't gotten over this one yet. I just completed my first year of driving here with no tickets at all.

9. You know whether you are within missile range of Iraq
This one should probably be Iran now, and check, I do know this.

10. You think black is appropriate daytime wear and that men should go to work in dresses and lacy hats
Check

11. You expect to go to jail when a local national hits the back of your car at a stop sign
Check

12. You expect your home office to call you on Fridays
I don't have a home office, so N/A

13. Your wear a jacket inside and take it off when you go out
Yep, I have done this in the past.

14. You can judge a perfect "10" by the ankle
Nope

15. You know which end of a shwarma to unwrap first
Not yet

16. You think the further you inch into the middle of the crossroads, the faster the light will turn green
Not yet

17. You carry an umbrella and it isn't raining
Not yet

18. You believe that the definition of a nanosecond is the time interval between the time the light turns green and the time that the guy behind you begins to blow his horn
Check

19. You give directions by landmarks instead of road names
Check

20. You can receive every television station except the local station
Check

21. You get used to using the cold water tap to get hot water during summer
Check

22. You can't buy anything without asking for a discount
Nope, I am a horrible negotiator

23. You understand that "wadi bashing" isn't a criminal act
Yep, haven't done it myself though

24. You make left turns from the far right lane
No, and while I still expect everyone around me to do this, I hate every single one of them.

25. You think Pepsi begins with a "B"
Well, I understand it, so Check I guess

26. You measure time by prayer calls
Kinda

27. You fax friends your map instead of your address
Change fax to email, and then Check

28. Your think tissue boxes belong on the dinner table
Nope, I prefer napkins still

29. You except the confirmation of your airline reservation to be "inshallah"
Check

30. You think only men should hold hands in Public.
You know, I was going to say nope, but I have to admit that it sort of shocks me know to see couples holding hands in public.

OK, so what is my score?
I come up with 17 and two n/a's, so I guess I haven't quite been here too long.

Any other suggestions or additions for the list? I think that I would add "Believe that staying in your lane is optional (especially in roundabouts" and "Have lost the ability to stand in line".

8 comments:

nzm said...

Here's the list that I received some months ago - some of them are on yours too.

You're not surprised to see a goat in the passenger seat

You think everyone's first name is Al

You need a sweater when it's 80 degrees Fahrenheit

You expect everyone to own a mobile phone

Your idea of housework is leaving a list for the houseboy

You believe that speed limits are only advisory

You expect all police to drive BMWs or Mercs

You know whether you are within missile range of Iraq

You believe that the definition of a nanosecond is the time interval between the time the light turns green and the time that the guy behind you begins to blow his horn

You can't buy anything without asking for a discount

You have more carpets than floor space

You expect all stores to stay open till midnight

You make left turns from the far right lane

You expect gold for every birthday

You send friends a map instead of your address

You think it's perfectly normal to have a picnic in the middle of a roundabout at 11pm

You know exactly how much alcohol allowance you have left for the month

You have a moon phase predictor on your computer

You never say Saturday instead of Thursday or Sunday instead of Friday

You accept that there is no point in asking why you are not allowed to do something

You expect queues to be 1 person deep and 40 people wide

You realise that the black and white stripes in the road are not a zebra crossing, just bait to get tourists into the firing line

You know what night is ladies' night at every bar in town

Seeing guys welcome each other with a kiss no longer fazes you

You carry 12 passport size photos around with you just in case

You can tell the time by listening to the local mosque

You think it's a good night if there are fewer than 10 men for every woman in a bar

You start to say "Inshallah" when you actually mean "No f** ***g chance!"

You overtake a police car at 130 km/h

A problem with your car AC or horn is more serious to you than a problem with the brakes

You can smoke a shisha in public without expecting to be arrested

Brn said...

Thanks, those are too funny.

I thought of another couple:

You think taking your kids to the park at 10 PM is perfectly normal.

You don't think it is unusual when complete strangers come up to your kids and rub their hair.

You begin to miss pumping your own gas.

Arabized said...

hahaha thats so funny!

nzm said...

Pumping gas in the US is something that still confuses the heck out of me. In some states you can pump your own, in others it's illegal. So I sit there like a dummy and wait to see if anyone is coming out to help me!

'Aynawi said...

I think that it is time for you to leave. your comments are so derogatory of the people who live here and your only measure for right is your own background and culture. Please do us all a favour and leave tomorrow or tonight. Please.

Brn said...

'Aynawi,

I'm sorry that you feel that this post is derogatory of the people and culture here. I certainly didn't mean for it to be interpreted that way. Obviously you are entitled to your opinion, but I think that if look at the rest of this blog, you will see that I am not hateful or disrespectful of the people and culture here. Anyway, thank you for your comment.

Cinderella said...

I do have to agree on quite a number of those! Very entertaining, and I believe too it was not meant ina derogatory spirit, just acknowledging differences in culture. I am sure if Middle East people end up living abroad, they will come up with similar lists about these places;)

kochumanavalan said...

A little late, but point 16 could be expanded on:

16a). You think the further you inch into the first lane of the roundabout and completely block it, traffic from the left might decide to stop coming.

And to expand on your suggestion regarding lane change within roundabouts:

16b). You think that the most efficient way to pass through a roundabout would be to enter it from the rightmost lane, continue in a straight line without touching your brakes or reducing speed so that you're in the leftmost lane by the time you're in the centre of the roundabout, and then exit again either on the rightmost or centre lane, depending on which way your car was pointing at that point....