Posted by: mostwanted | Sunday, May 28, 2006

You Know You’re an Expat Kid From the Middle East or Have Been When…

1. You can’t answer the question, “Where are you from?” (And when you do, you get into an elaborate conversation that gets everyone confused and/or makes you sound very spoiled.)

2. You flew before you could walk.

3. You have a passport, but no driver’s license.

4. You think California is cold.

5. You watch National Geographic specials and recognize someone.

6. You run into someone you know at every airport.

7. Conversations with friends take place at 6:00 in the morning or 10:00 at night.

8. Your life story uses the phrase “Then we went to…” five times.

9. You can speak with authority about the quality of various international airlines.

10. You feel self conscious around all white people.

11. You get offended when someone turns down an offer for food.

12. You live at school and go home for vacation.

13. You treasure pork and root beer as highly-valued commodities.

14. You have ever had to wait for prayer call to be over to finish shopping.

15. You are fascinated by any wildlife bigger than a gecko.

16. You know the true meaning of “football.” (and in your mind can hear the shout, “GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”)

17. You know that it truly is a small world.

18. You have ever gone to the “hammam” or endured a “shamal.”

19. You get all the jokes in Aladdin.

20. Rain is still one of the most wonderful sounds in the world.

21. You haggle with the checkout clerk for a lower price.

22. Your wardrobe can only handle two seasons: hot and warm.

23. Your school memories include duck-and-cover drills.

24. You are used to being stared at.

25. You think VISA is a document stamped in your passport, and not a plastic card you carry in your wallet.

26. You call a chicken burrito a “shwarma.”

27. Your dorm room/apartment/living room looks a little like a museum with all the “exotic” things you have around.

28. You’ve heard of or tried “hubbly bubbly.”

29. You’ve woken up in the middle of the night to watch the Superbowl on cable.

30. You have sat in a “men’s” or “women’s” section in an airport, hospital, or restaurant.

31. You know the geography of the rest of the world, but you don’t know the geography of your own country. (Isn’t Philadelphia its own state?)

32. Your best friends are from 5 different countries.

33. You’re spoiled. You know it. You’re VERY spoiled.

34. You ask your roommate when the houseboy is scheduled to come clean.

35. You have never spent a summer with your friends from high school because you all go back to your home town/state/country June – August

36. Camping involves duning, getting stuck, and counting how many camels you saw.

37. A sports tournament involves flying to another country in the Middle East.

38. You remember when the first McDonalds in your country had its grand opening.

39. You got days off school for Christian and Muslim holidays.

40. You secretely wished the rulers of other Middle Eastern countries would die so that you got days off school.

41. Not being able to eat in public during the day during the holy month of Ramadan.

42. Traveling to the States required buying candy, CDs, and Abercrombie and Fitch clothing for your friends back overseas.

43. You are used to giving directions according to landmarks, not street names.

44. It’s normal to wake up and have four or more Pakistani men fixing your AC.

45. You didn’t know how to do your own laundry until you left for college.

46. You wonder how come the houses in America don’t have servant quarters?

47. You are used to seeing Arabic commercials dubbed in British English about Lux soap, Carnation condensed milk and Dove shampoo.

48. Seeing police drive on the shoulder of the road and cut people is not unusual.

49. You understand that being addressed as “ma’am/sir” by Filipinos is not an insult.

50. You know someone is referring to Pepsi when they say “Bebzi”.

51. Having a walled in, cement house is standard.

52. Ford Explorer sized cars seem small compared to Toyota Land Cruisers and Nissan Patrols.

. 😀



  1. This post is hilarious to me! I am an expat kid in Saudi Arabia, and I relate to almost all of these!

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