You know you are born EXPAT when…

Posted on: Jueves 14 junio 2007

1- You flew before you could walk

2- 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)

3- You have a passport (or three!), but no driver’s license (now I do!)

4- You watch National Geographic specials and recognize someone

5- You run into someone you know at every airport

6- You have a time zone map next to your telephone (or memorized)

7- Your life story uses the phrase “Then we went to…” five times

8- You speak with authority on the quality of airline travel

9- National Geographic (or the travel channel) makes you homesick

10-You read the international section before the comics

11-You go home for vacation

12-You don’t know where home is

13-You sort your friends by continent

14-Someone brings up the name of a team, and you get the sport wrong

15-You know there is no such thing as an international language

16-You realize it really is a small world, after all

17-You watch a movie set in a foreign country, and you know what the nationals are really saying into the camera

18-You haggle with the checkout clerk for a lower price

19-Your high school memories include those days that school was canceled due to tear gas. (or riots, or demonstrations, those “corrupted countries problems… or remember those “bomb” threats?!!)

20-You have a name in at least two different languages, and it’s not the same one (YEAP! Anyone else?!) 😀

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

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

23-You won’t eat Uncle Ben’s rice because it doesn’t stick together

24-Half of your phone calls are unintelligible to those around you

25-You know the geography of the rest of the world, but you don’t know the geography of your own country. (That’s kind of stupid, I’m sort of a map freak. I love reading maps)

26- You have best friends in 5 different countries (yes, sad but true)

27- You went to school with that kid who was caned or the other kid who tried to smuggle one kilo of hashish

28-You ask your roommate when the maid service is scheduled to come clean the room

29- There are police outside your school

30- Because your school was international, and because expats move round a fair bit, your Facebook friends page has many different universities on it.

31- The U.S. is a foreign country

32- The nationals say, “Oh, I knew an American once …” and then ask if you know him or her.

33- You aren’t terribly surprised when you do.

34- You know what real coffee tastes like.

35- You like everything from Reggae to Japanese Rap music. (In my case it would be more from classical music to jazz, tango to swing, Italian pop to German pop…)

36-You wince when people mispronounce foreign words. (Oh yeah that’s me!)

37-You know how to pack.

38-Fitting 15 or more people in a car seems normal to you.

39-You own personal appliances with 3 types of plugs, know the difference between 110 and 220 volts, 50 and 60 cycle current, and realize that a transformer isn’t always enough to make your appliances work.

40- You fried a number of appliances during the learning process.

41- You think nothing of straddling white lines to pass between trucks or buses traveling side by side, because “There was plenty of room, officer. Honest! At least six inches clearance.”

42- Someone in your passport country has to explain to you that the double yellow line means *only* oncoming traffic can drive on that side of the road, even when there *isn’t* any oncoming traffic … and you don’t understand why.

43- The same individual also has to explain that red lights mean stop *all* the time, without exception, and you must stay stopped *until* they turn green, whether or not there is cross-traffic … and you still don’t understand why.

44- Later the same day, the same poor friend has to go to great lengths to explain to you why you cannot just hand the policeman fifty cents and drive away when he stops you, and why you are now being driven downtown in the back of said officer’s car over a mere fifty cents; at which point your passport country ceases to make any sense to you at all.

45-You feel odd being in the ethnic majority.

46-You didn’t get a license until you’re 18th birthday, but you started driving the ancient family land rover when you were seven.

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

48- You have ever had to wait for prayer call to be over to finish shopping

49- You have ever gone to the “hammam” or endured a “shamal”,

50- You get all the jokes in Aladdin.

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

52- You are used to being stared at. (Or most likely being asked “Are you Italian? Spanish? Portuguese? Egyptian? From Morocco? Tunis? Greece?… I’ve had them all, all around the Mediterranean, seriously)

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


55- You’ve woken up in the middle of the night to watch the Superbowl on cable

56- You’re spoiled,

57- You know it.

I found this on Facebook. It is funny up to #47, then I can’t relate because I’ve never lived in a Muslim country (and hope I never will).


6 comentarios to "You know you are born EXPAT when…"

Ha ha I can relate to a lot of these. Thanks for the laugh.

On #39 and #40, you mention appliances and transformers, and the learning process. Can you tell me more about your experiences on this topic? I am trying to make my european DVD player work in the USA. I bought a little 25 watt adapter, and it does not work very well here. Should I get a more powerful adapter, like, 50 watt? Or will it just never work well no matter what, because of the 50-60 hertz problem?

>random guy: (I didn’t write this article myself, but could identify myself in a lot of those points. As for your question, I had to ask hubby. He is the technical expert around here).Is the problem only electrical or is it about the different DVD encoding? Or is it the connection with the screen? (Do you have an American screen or is it one of those portable DVD players?)You should make a research online about the technical possibilities of you machine, sometimes even in shops they can’t give you any good advise.

Oh God!!…Story of my life!! Almost all of it rings a bell…
But we could add:
When people ask you: ‘So, when do you plan on going home and lead a NORMAL life?´
And you look at them, quite puzzled and you answer: ‘Home…Huh??…Normal?…huh??’…

My DVD player is very versatile. It reads all kinds of formats and zones. It can adapt to pal or ntsc (american) formats. That’s why I brought it over here. Otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered. Well, also because it was a gift from people I liked, but that’s another story.
I think the problem is purely electrical, hence the question about the adapter.
The problem is, the DVD player has a tendency to freeze here in the States. I believe that could be due to the electrical engine that’s overheating because of that hertz difference, making it work at a faster pace than it is meant for. But I’m not even sure. Maybe it’s the adaptor that I bought that’s just crappy. It was cheap.

Ah! Je vais la prendre celle-là! Many of those facts are SO very true! I flew before I could recognize my mother!


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