I think this changes as you move to different places. I think there are things you "never get used to" each place you live; each place you work. And then there are those things that you never get used to that have to do with being far away from home. Understand that these aren't things that send me into a tailspin. They are just things that are different and I'm not sure I'll ever get used to them. I will adapt and adjust and generally accept them...but may never truly get used to them.
And so, here are some of those things.
I will never get used to:
- not being able to see my nieces and nephews more. I hate not being able to see them play football, basketball, softball; sing in concerts; perform in school programs. It never gets any easier to NOT be there for those things.
- the time difference and the difficulties of communicating with family and friends because of that time difference.
- those same friends and family constantly asking "what time is it there?" (this actually makes me giggle every time someone asks for some reason)
- working with kids who have more contact with (and are essentially raised by) nannies and drivers than they do with their own parents, particularly their fathers.
- working with students who are so wealthy and due to inherit so much. These same kids who see poverty every day but have no concept of what it really is.
- the lack of consideration for time, for being on time, starting on time, etc. This is WAY more evident in the countries I have worked in outside of the U.S. "Punctuality" is not in their vocabulary.
- the total disregard for traffic laws; stop signs, stop lights.
- driving, in general. It's different in Bahrain than it was in Morocco, but it isn't any better. Here, it's just faster. In Morocco it was slow, stupid, and annoying in most places.
- working Sunday through Thursday. More specifically, trying to stay up late on a Saturday to watch Iowa football games, and thinking about having to be up early for work on Sunday.
- not being able to order clothes, shoes, etc. and have them delivered to my home
- women and girls who accept their life role as one of being a wife and mother, and nothing else; women accepting that they are to cater to men and not question being inferior to men.
- women who are 'fully covered', meaning all black, head to toe, not even revealing their eyes. It's spooky to me. I'll never get used to it.
- the lack of trees and green space in these last two countries I've lived in.
- the lack of spatial awareness and manners when invading one's personal space. This was particularly challenging in Morocco. People would push past you in any line, without an excuse me, without making eye contact. It was as if they had more of a right to be there than you did. Or, they were just completely unaware and/or without enough exposure to the world to understand that their behavior is rude and they are in need of manners classes.
- not being able to play or coach softball
- being far away from loved ones, and hugs from loved ones.