A Generous Grace

ideas on practical spirituality and loving each other

28 Signs I Might Be Living Overseas

28 signs w text

1.  I set a goal for myself while jogging: If I can only make it to that goat.

  1. Everyone speaks more languages than I do.
  2. I have partaken of creatures I would normally not consume by choice, e.g. fish eyes, grasshoppers, and the like.
  3. People dispose of trash by simply throwing it out the window.
  4. A healthy percentage of my most delightful friends were born a hemisphere away from where I was.
  5. I avoid unfiltered water like the Plague. Because I’m pretty sure I’ve seen the Plague in there.
  6. My pothole-per-mile ratio exceeds 136:1.
  7. The concept of “home” feels bewildering.
  8. I answer to a wide variety of names that sound entirely different than the one I’ve answered to for the majority of my adult life.
  9. Fruit and other materials labeled “exotic” in my home country are available at that little wooden stand down the street.
  10. My children asked for a raise in their allowance based on the increasing value of the dollar.
  11. My electrical company is perpetually listed in my phone’s recent contacts.
  12. Sometimes home feels like camping.
  13. Despite the lack of familiarity, there is something about the place I live that makes I feel so…alive.
  14. I adopt an accent when speaking, say, at the supermarket.
  15. My suitcase is filled with odd items, like 6 of the same deodorant, 18 months of underwear for six people, eight pounds of chocolate chips, and 12 jars of B vitamins. My carry-on is where I stash the Hot Tamales and six packs of Slim Jims.
  16. People attempt to compliment me by calling me “fat”, or in regards to my status, a “big woman.” …Yeah. Thanks.
  17. Ants in my home don’t even capture my attention anymore unless in vast quantities or floating in my drink.
  18. The last trip to the States found me saying, “What in the world is ‘Apple TV’?”
  19. I are content with my “dumb” phone, because pretty much everyone else has one, and if it falls in the toilet (or pit latrine) I can afford to replace it.
  20. Cops stop me because I are more likely to be a source of cash.
  21. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” gets me all sniffy.
  22. My bed is shrouded in netting, but somehow my arms and legs still have telltale welts of those little (literal) suckers.
  23. I keep toilet paper in my glove box. Because public toilets, when I can find them, are BYO TP.
  24. I give up asking for decaffeinated coffee, because people don’t really know what that is (or why you would drink it), nor do they have it.
  25. I can pronounce all of the ingredients in my food.
  26. I am feeling a whole lot more deft with the metric system lately.
  27. My employer contemplates sending out regular deworming reminders via e-mail.

Time for some help with my list! If you’ve been overseas, what would you add?

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  1. Great list, Janel! I would probably add: 1. I often measure distance here in shillings, not in kilometers or miles, since I almost always use public transport (boat, boda or taxi). 2. I have no concept of “high-speed” Internet, except when my YouTube upload takes only 1 hour versus 6+ hours. 3. “Nature” knows no boundaries – whether it’s the insects EVERYWHERE, the geckos and lizards climbing the walls, the bats diving for their “supper” in the dining room, or the rats collecting their “tax.” 4. Time is fluid here and I am reminded it is “4 o’clock” until it is 5. 😉

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