You Remember You’re a Repat when . . . (Part 3)

August 4, 2012 § 7 Comments

(Part 1, Part 2)

You remember you’re a repat when . . .

61. You describe a city as “small” because it has only a million residents.
62. You hear yourself saying at the dinner table, “Where’s the garlic?”
63. You pull out the winter coats when the temperature gets below 70 degrees; or you pull out the shorts when it gets above 40.
64. You get a bill from the doctor and you call to see whose clerical error made the amount so high.
65. Glade’s “Ocean Breeze” scent isn’t any substitute for the real thing.
66. You assume everyplace in the US has WiFi, just like in the city you used to live in.
67. Wearing your traditional ethnic shirt isn’t as much fun now that you’re not going back again.
68. You ask at the grocery store if they have KLIM powdered milk. When they say “No,” you ask when they expect it to be in.
69. You buy three cartons of Hagen Dazs ice cream because it’s one third of the price of Hagen Dazs in your old host country. When you get home, your spouse reminds you it’s still too expensive.
70. You reset your new computer’s clock to military time.
71. You need to convert to the metric system to make sure of distances and temperatures.
72. You get fully dressed to sit in your living room because someone may be peeking in the window.
73. Airports feel like home.
74. The thought of moving again sends you into a panic attack. But your spouse feels the same way about staying put.
75. Your college-age children resent that you took away their opportunity to go “home” for the summer.
76. You can’t remember why anyone would like pineapple from a can, the same for orange juice from concentrate.
77. You understand why the restrooms in LAX have signs saying, “Do not stand on the toilets.”
78. People say, “football,” and you ask, “Which kind?”
79. A friend sends funds to a scammer who sent out an e-mail saying he’s you, stranded abroad, and your friend believes it because, hey, you travel all the time and you’re always needing money.
80. You don’t know what to buy your parents for Christmas now that you can’t give them souvenirs.
81. You shed a tear after finally eating the last package of dried fruit that you brought back with you.
82. You do your happy dance when you find another package of dried fruit in the outside pocket of your carry-on bag a year later.
83. You cringe because you hear someone say she’s “starving to death.”
84. You realize that all the documents on your computer are formatted for A4 paper.
85. You tell your waiter, “I’d like my water with ice . . . if you have any.”
86. You get nervous about buying tickets at the movie theater, because you forgot what the “rules” are.
87. You still can’t drink water straight from the faucet.
88. Your children are happy to see that the US has Costcos, too.
89. You miss the familiar sound of the daily call to prayer . . . or a rooster crowing . . . or late-night traffic . . . or the song the trash truck plays.
90. You show up at a party 2 hours late because you don’t want to be the first one there.
91. You put your favorite DVD in the player and it says, “Region Unsupported.”
92. You understand that some things just take a lot of time.

[top photo: “Electrical Outlet,” by grendelkhan, used under a Creative Commons license; bottom photo: “Having It Both Ways,” by Keith Williamson, used under a Creative Commons license]

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§ 7 Responses to You Remember You’re a Repat when . . . (Part 3)

  • Dounia says:

    No. 91 just about sums it up, doesn’t it? Some things really do take a lot of time…and we don’t necessarily expect that. Good luck with settling back in and with all the readapting. Sometimes I wonder if we’re ever done adapting, or if like everything else, there are ‘good’ days and ‘bad’ days… Definitely following your blog and looking forward to reading more!

    • Craig says:

      Thanks for all the encouraging comments. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog, too. You’ve had quite a lot of cross-cultural experiences.

  • eof737 says:

    You put your favorite DVD in the player and it says, “Region Unsupported.” Brilliant! :-)

    • Craig says:

      That’s why we brought a region-free player back with us.

      • eof737 says:

        Good for you… I really loved your post as it brought back memories for me too… Another one that made me nod my head and laugh is when, invariably, you start to talk about … “When we were in…” and folk cut you off. They’ve had enough! :lol:

  • vagabondwithfamily says:

    Again, thanks for these! I’d like to share your post on my Facebook page so that the expat community I know here can enjoy them, too!

    Great stuff! I do look forward to one day sitting in a movie theater without feeling like I am breaking the rules because I refuse to sit next to ten other people, side by side, in the center… even though 85% of the theater is unoccupied!

  • Craig says:

    That would be great for you to share this on Facebook. We might even have some friends in common.

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