Sunday, December 03, 2006

Ya Salem!

Inspired by a conversation with my roommates and a subsequent blog by Amy, here's a list (though by no means exhaustive) of things I only do on the other side of the world:
  • go all day without talking on the phone
  • get marriage proposals from Taxi drivers
  • order dinner online
  • walk out into the street in front of cars (real life Frogger!)
  • forget that seatbelts exist somewhere in the world
  • answer the door when I hear a bird chirping
  • think it'll be cool to swich my phone into Arabic, and then not be able to do anything on it, including changing it back to english
  • speak Arabic
  • go to church on Friday
  • give trash to friends to throw on the ground (because I still won't do it)
  • get so lost you have to call a friend and have her explain to the driver where you want to go...three times in one week
  • jump on and off the bus while it's moving
  • donkey carts in the street are normal
  • learn that everyone's nickname is either some sort of fruit or animal (I'm "peach" and "spicy")
  • drink Nescafe (sick!)
  • squeeze past a guy on a bus while he shouts "ya salem!" (There's not an exact definition for this, but it means something like, "wowie zowie!")
  • guess the temp of your oven because there's no numbers on the knob
  • order chicken or meat for your dinner--my guess is that meat is actually beef, though I prefer the chicken
  • pay people money who come to your door asking for it, even though you have no idea what it's for
  • not even bat an eye when your taxi driver sideswipes another car or drives down the wrong side of the road
  • walk in the street because the sidewalks are for parking
  • speak in broken english with an Arabic accent becuase you forgot how to speak normally ("You come me now? I wait you here")
  • Think you're eating fish-flavored snacks from your Korean neighbors but after you're about 1/2 way done, you look closer and realize you're eating baby fish that are shaped like snakes. After this, you scream (scaring all of the people in the kitchen with you), spit out the food, and have nightmares about fish-snakes swimming in your stomach
  • confuse the words with and in all the time, so you refer to your friend as living inside a dog.
  • randomly throw out Spanish words in the middle of a sentence because you are in "default foreign language" mode
  • confuse Arabs when you tell them you're from Iowa, because in Arabic, iowa means yes. ("Where are you from ? Iowa. No, where are you from? Iowa. NO, what place are you from?", etc.)
  • eat sausage not made out of pork (no one knows what it actually is made of)
  • have an intermission in the middle of a movie
  • have a cleaning lady (bonus!) from Nigeria
  • call boys girls all the time because you're used to talking with girls and "you" in Arabic changes based on gender
  • not flush your toilet paper
...all in a days work.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

ha- i totally thought of the not flushing toilet paper thing too!
icky.
fish-snakes!!!!!

andrea said...

haha, I can totally relate to throwing out Spanish words while trying to speak Arabic - and then saying my English words with an Arabic accent!! ..and the intermission in the middle of a movie, I love it!! :)