Sunday, October 2, 2011

Things to Get Used to

So I know I said that my next post would include a tour of my beautiful home, but, well, I lied. Giving you a tour would mean that I would need to be fully unpacked, organized, and that things would need to look presentable, and I grossly underestimated how long that would take. Whoops! Instead, I will placate you with five of the things that are incredibly difficult for me to get used to:

1. No Wet Hair!
In the States, if you go out in public with wet hair, people will think you're lazy. Here, people will think you're a slut. Seriously. I'm not supposed to go out with wet hair because apparently, it is "sexy" and makes you seem "easy." SERIOUSLY! In college, at least during the warm months, I went out with wet hair EVERY DAY simply because I was just too lazy to blow dry it. This now means I need to get up early enough every morning to have time to dry my hair, and it means that my poor hair is taking a beating from all of the extra heat.

2. No Sweatpants in Public!
I have not seen a single man, woman, or child wearing sweatpants in public. Now, I don't know if there is some cultural norm that dictates this... or if it's just too hot to wear them right now. BUT I have decided to err on the side of caution and not wear them at all unless I'm sleeping. The way you present yourself (your dress, having your hair done, the shoes you wear, etc.) seems to be very important here, and so I am trying (wayyyyyyy) harder than usual to look presentable. I went the entire month of January last year basically only wearing sweat pants (ok, or yoga pants, but they're basically the same thing, right?). I would say that I just like to be comfortable, but I guess it also goes back to the whole lazy thing.

3. No American Top 40/Pop Culture!
I am absolutely oblivious to all the cool new music/movies/fashion trends! While it is definitely a little strange to be missing all of the new cultural jokes and quotes, it is also a bit freeing. Actually, a lot freeing. Maybe this isn't a difficult thing at all. Although I am a little worried that I'll go home and be completely stunted because I won't be able to pick up on any cultural references whatsoever! But I may be slightly over exaggerating.

4. No Target!
Here, everything seems to be sold in specialty stores. There doesnt seem to be any big "one stop shop," like Target, where I can buy anything my heart desires. So if I needed a cooking pot, a fan, olive oil, and Motrin, I would need to go to the housewares store, the electronics store, the grocery store, and the pharmacy. This wouldnt be a big deal if I had a car, but when you have to take a bus or a taxi everywhere, carrying around multiple bags in and out of multiple stores is a painnnnn. Speaking of that...

5. Relying on Public Transportation!
I have NEVER realized the level of my transportation related spoiledness until now. I have had a car for as long as I've had a driver's license, so I've never had to rely on public transportation or had to bum rides off people. And let me tell you, it is a HUGE transition. When I want to go somewhere, it needs to be planned well in advance. I need to be sure that the bus is still running, or that I am near somewhere that I can find a taxi, or that I can carpool with someone. It has definitely been a switch in my thinking, and sometimes a really frustrating one. It also means that I need to be more conscious of my purchases. If I want to go grocery shopping, I need to make sure not to buy more than I can carry. If I want to make a big purchase, I need to have a plan for how to get it home. No more impulse buys for this girl!

Despite all of these changes (some more major than others), I am finding that I have been adapting to Palestinian culture rather well (if I do say so myself). Some of it has been counterintuitive, but I find that the changes in thinking are easier each day. I haven't had a big bout of homesickness yet, but I know that it is coming, and I'm trying to prepare for it as best I can (by stocking up on Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Harry Potter movies). Anyways, I promise that in the near future, you'll get that tour of my home. Better late than never, right?

I hope that each of you are safe and well. As always, don't hesitate to leave a comment or send me an email if you have any questions or if you just want to chat. Thank you so much to each person who has emailed me over the last week. Your words of encouragement are always the highlight of my day!

All my love to each of you!

1 comment:

  1. Wet hair is sexy? Seriously? I agree with the laziness thing. What's the point of doing anything more with your hair after a shower than brushing it?? Just a waste of time.