I’ve been wanting to start this series for some time now, but it wasn’t until I was struck with laryngitis that I actually found the words. #irony
Let’s pretend I’m back home in Canada, lined up at the Dollar Store, ready to check-out the bubbles, balloons, and random plastic animals I’ve picked up for an optimistically “calm” afternoon with the girls. I go to pay the bill (less than $5 – SCORE!) and I pull out Kuwaiti dinars instead of Canadian dollars from my purse. As I give the money to the cashier, she looks at me like “WHAT THE HECK DID YOU GIVE ME?!” and I look at her like “CAN YOU GET ME MY CHANGE, PLEASE?!”, until I finally catch on that I’m using the wrong currency. The customer behind me starts giggling, as does the cashier and, in no time at all, it’s as though the entire dollar store is engaging with me in a conversation about my living situation.
“Wow! That’s COOL! Does your family hate you for it?!”
“Is it safe for you over there?”
“Isn’t it hard being so far away from your family? Especially raising babies!”
“Don’t you want to be somewhere greener?”
“You mean you haven’t been home for Christmas in years?!”
I laugh because a) the lady would have made a KILLING if she accepted the dinars and b) I get these sorts of responses ALL THE TIME (and I’m sure that other Expat Mamas do too)! One minute, you’re just like everybody else – checking items off the list as you shop around a store. The next minute, you’re this unique specimen in a room full of “normal” and on-lookers are probing for answers to an experience that confuses them.
Inspired by the interactions I’ve had with other mothers around the world, in this series of interviews I hope to share the Expat Mama Experience and bring a level of understanding to it all. Somehow, in a place that is different from anything we’ve known before, expat mamas have learned to find comfort and joy in an unusual path. We wake up to things less foreign and discover that loved ones might actually be accessible via elevator…
Welcome to The Expat Mama Interview! I can’t wait for you to get to know US! :)