01 February 2009

Things I Would Miss

A friend recently said she overheard a conversation that went something like this:

"So, what is it that you really miss about (the country where you used to live)?"
"Um, well... let me think.... ummm, mmmnnnn..... can't think of much, but there must be something..."

I think she did come up with a couple things after much deep thought.

SO... that made me think, that if someone asked me the question, would I have many heartfelt, enthusiastic answers? I don't fault that lady AT ALL, because when you are living in a foreign culture it is VERY easy to be drug down by all the hardships and not actually give a lot of pointed thought to what you DO love about life there.

Over the past few weeks, I have given it a lot of thought, and so far this is my list:

Things I would miss if we didn't live here:

1. Sitting on a low stool outside with other locals, everyone ordering and drinking small and very sweet cups of hot tea in the morning sold by tea ladies who have their small, low tea-stands under every tree and on every corner.
2. Drinking fresh squeezed fruit juice from a small stand out of a questionable glass made with questionable water.
3. Shopping in the bustling, dirty, smelly market... especially at night and especially the day before Eid.
4. The friendliness of the shopkeepers where I am a regular.
5. Being able to buy fresh bread daily at one of many local bakeries.
6. That I can spill water anywhere in my house and never have to clean it up because it just evaporates in a matter of minutes.
7. Shaking everyone's hand and greeting each person separately when entering a room with others in it.
8. When people tell me that my Arabic is good (it's not at ALL... but I sure love it when the little bit they hear make them think that I'm an expert with a good accent!)
9. The African songs, drums, and dancing!
10. Our International church... at least one of every color. And my color is a minority.
11. Fresh produce weekly!
12. Morning and evening picnics at the local 'amusement' parks.
13. Syrian Fresh Food. The best restaurant in the city.
14. Sharing a bowl of 'fuul' (fava beans with all the fixins') with friends... everyone eating their bites out of the same bowl with pieces of bread.
15. That everywhere we go, people love my son. They pinch him, squeeze him, kiss him, carry him away, buy him cookies, give him candy, offer him Pepsi, and declare "Masha Allah" (he's come from God!).
16. Drinking soda out of glass bottles with straws.
17. Chatting with the begger kids when they come up to the car window at a stop light.
18. Eating with my hands. Or should I say 'hand' (the right one to be specific).
19. That it's okay and expected to drop in on friends without any prior notice.
20. Speaking a foreign language daily (no matter how little I know).
21. Riding the local transport... buses and rickshaws!
22. How much the desert makes me appreciate each cool breeze and each patch of green.

Wow! I think I could keep going...
That was fun!

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