My life overseas is much like my life was in America. Most of the things I do on a daily basis are the same things I did when I lived in the U.S. Take today, for example: This morning I got my kids off to school and my husband off to work, I spent some time on my treadmill, I washed and folded a bunch of laundry, I washed dishes, I swept my kitchen floor, I wiped off my kitchen counters, I went to Ikea with my friend Mirza, I sent some emails and I told my kids to make their beds, eat their breakfast, brush their teeth, take out the garbage, put away their shoes, do their homework and feed the cat. All normal things that any American mother would do on a typical Tuesday in April.
What makes my life different now from my life in America is what I see outside my window as I’m doing all those normal mom things. Here are some things I saw outside my window today:
I saw a young Bedouin shepherd walk by with around thirty sheep. I saw three different young boys ride by on their donkeys which were carrying bags of recyclables their owners had collected from our neighborhood garbage dumpsters. I saw a young Syrian mother, her body covered with her abaya and her head covered with her hijab, walking with her young son; the two seemed to be looking for someone from whom they could beg a few coins. I saw a group of curly-haired Arab boys playing soccer in the street, interrupted too often by the cars driving by. I saw a group of bo-abs, the Egyptian men who maintain apartment buildings, sitting on the curb, chatting away. While on our way to Ikea, through Mirza’s car windows I saw a number of small produce stands along the highway; each selling a beautiful and colorful array of fresh fruits and vegetables.
This is one of the reasons I love living overseas; because of the things I see outside my window.