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Friday, October 8, 2010

Repatriation Realities

Humans are very versatile and flexible creatures, these facts explain how ancient cultures in such diverse areas as the Arctic and our own Arabian desert thrived. In the last few years I have lived and worked Abu Dhabi, I did some adapting of my own to this country and culture. Now I hardly notice the everyday things that would have shocked, irritated, or even thrilled me when I was a rookie.

All of this made me realize that when the time comes for my return to the star spangled arms of my Uncle Sam, I will have some reverse-adapting to do. Some things in the U.S. will seem foreign to me upon my repatriation so I compiled a 10 most potentially disruptive personal issues list:

1. I will have to force myself to actually take speed limit and stop signs seriously again

2. Required to get reacquainted with “The Taxman” and pay my legal burden (ugh!)

3. Metric versus Imperial measures, always a struggle for me, back to miles, yards, feet and inches

4. Possibility of getting arrested because my shisha pipe is assumed to be "drug paraphernalia"

5. The eerie sense of an important bathroom fixture gone missing, my toilet looks lonely  

6. My terror of drinking tap water must be conquered or I will be considered a wimp

7. Surprised at all the old, dented and cheap cars on the road back home

8. Trying to regain comprehension of that “funny-sounding” American accent

9. My sweat glands are stuck wide open after years in the U.A.E. heat and humidity, I now shiver at 27 C

10 "Middle Finger” rights are restored for use in disputes, but better not as the opponent may have a gun

Some things will feel the same, KFC for example, but the longer I am in Abu Dhabi the further I drift from my original culture. That is not a bad thing as adaptation makes me more comfortable here as time goes by and when I do return home, it will seem as exotic and new as when I first set foot on these shores.


rosh said...

Aww! I understand each point you make. I may have it the other round, if and when I return ' home'.

Actually KFC does taste better in the UAE :) I think it's because the meat is Halal / Kosher.

Chuck said...

It's always an adjustment moving back home, for sure. I remember moving back from Okinawa, having department stores and restaurants all around, I felt overwhelmed by the choice. But I readapted pretty quickly.

Charlie said...