Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fly Like A Noodle...

For anyone that has ever flown international...they are fully aware of just how uncomfortable coach seating is for the weary traveller. Sitting in that cramped little space for 7, 9, or even 11 hours is just plain other word for it. A friend of mine has made the trip back and forth from the states numerous times this past 2 years and I have no idea how she can put herself through that ordeal time after time. The only part of the whole experience that makes it bearable is being able to watch that little tv screen that shows the little airplanes progress across the globe. First crossing the middle east over into Europe and then onto America...the heart just feels lighter and lighter the closer you get to the east feel positively bubbly when you reach official American airspace....nothing like coming home.

Anyhow...I was going to write about the trip over on this post but I will leave that for another time...I just have to make some comments about my first week home and the things Ive noticed that are so different now...and that are different from over there.

1. Driving hands down is a major difference here. I no longer feel like every person that is anywhere near me is a potential threat...they very well could be but I dont have that defensive feel that is part and parcel of driving in Bahrain.

2. There is so much green its like the world turned green...a nice change of pace from the sand color Ive been use to all these years. However...with green comes bugs and let me tell you...everything in Texas is bigger...including its bugs. Ive never seen such big spiders...bees...wasps...not to mention the sheer quantity of insects. Bugs are litterally falling out of trees and getting kicked up in the grass as you walk...I dont mind bugs themselves...but for someone thats allergic to some of them...its a little harrowing to be ducking and dodging the constant on slaught....eeek!

3. It cost and arm and a leg to eat at fast food here....on one hand thats a good thing as I now cant afford over here the junk food that is quite cheap over there and a terrible mainstay of our diet....but on the other...I want to have a go at all the foods I missed pace myself.

4. I love being able to walk down the street...just wandering along with no purpose in mind...with my head up...taking in the sights...not worrying about what Im wearing...whose watching and will be passing judgement on me walking for no apparent reason...or who I might be with etc....cant explain how much of a burden that has always been....and how much more enjoyable walks are when none of that matters.

5. A big change I notice from when I was in school is that the school are hyper alert about safety now. Could be due to the recent spate of shootings etc that are a constant reminder that bad things can happen anywhere...but going through the process of putting my son in school I got to see the day to day activities and everything is geared for safety of the student...teachers...and visitors. Will definitely take some getting use to...alot of rules...but kids are adaptable so I dont expect too much trouble for mine.

6. Everything...anything...cost a lot. ugh!!!

Those are just a few observations Ive got so far. My internet connection really sucks so Im writing this with the net going off and Im getting frustrated and not able to write really what I want to...Im ready to chuck the laptop actually. I hope that improves as keeping in touch with everyone and keeping up the blog etc are very important to me.

7. The internet cost alot too...damn!!!


Susanne said...

I enjoyed your list. I didn't realize things were that much more expensive here. Glad you are enjoying the greenery even though the bugs are a different story. :-)

Bobby said...

The same with air travel -- though I have different cause "earache"
I can't sit in plane for more than couple of hours!
Bugs - every time I go to India I am loaded with insecticides! I hate them running in MY home!
Hope you have gr8 time

The Queen said...

I think that I do understand what you mean regarding #4. It is precisely why I get so frustrated when I hear about how 'liberating' hijab is. What could be more liberating than having the freedom from having to be concerned about every minor detail of how you look ,talk, walk or what complete strangers might think of your choice of clothing for the day.

Gardens of Sand said...

"Driving hands down is a major difference here. I no longer feel like every person that is anywhere near me is a potential threat"

That is what I thought too, driving in South Carolina is a breeze compared to Bahrain. Then I was introduced to the 405 in LA. I will take Bahrain anytime over the 405. Washington DC metro area taffic is the same as Bahrain.

Things are much more expensive in the US with the exception of clothes. Shop when sales hit, compare the weekly circulars. Don't u just love super Walmart?

This That Whatever said...

For me too, the driving was an adjustment. I also couldn't get over the fact how the streets were so empty at 10pm. Life here in the UAE starts at night.

I didn't go back to the States for 8 years and a lot had changed since that time.

My hometown is San Antonio.

I miss Super Wal-Mart.

The Queen said...

Walmart! I cringe! Stay away from Walmart they are SATAN and the ruin of this country!

Susie of Arabia said...

You are home, at long last, you are home! I am so happy for you. I wish you happiness and peace of mind. I had emailed you and wondered why I hadn't heard from you - now I know. I am so far behind on my blog reading and commenting that I didn't realize you had already clicked your shiny red heels together and were granted your wish to return home. I can imagine the relief you are feeling, reunited with your girls, and being back in the fray. So happy for you....

Anonymous said...

Well done!
Now don't dwell on your past or your girls will grow up to do the same.

marahm said...

I am so happy for you, coolred. You are finally home, a place for which you've pined for many years. I know the feeling. Though I lived twelve years in Riyadh, I made trips back to the States once or twice every year. Seeing the Statue of Liberty from the airplane window used to bring tears of happiness to my eyes.

As for driving, may I offer advice? Cars have changed-- evolved, actually-- into creatures that think, calculate, and nearly drive themselves, but you have to learn how to push their buttons, or, shall I say touch their screens? Actually, buttons are nearly gone, and GPS systems (what's that? right?)talk! They really talk, and you can't shut them up easily, so be prepared to read the owner's manual, which has also evolved, into a textbook that barely fits into the glove box, which has gotten smaller due to the increased quantity of guts behind it. The dashboard of your new car will resemble the control panel of that airplane you just rode back.

coolred38 said...

Thanks everyone for the remarks. I have discovered that I do miss things from Bahrain...which I could have sworn last week would not have been the case. Life is interesting...would hate it any other way.