Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Things You Don't EXPECT To Be Surprised By...

Being in the US is interesting. We've had a long hiatus between visits this time. It's been 3 years, which clearly was enough time for me to think of Jordan as normal. I have been intrigued by the things that have been surprising me...
  1. Toilets have ALOT of water in them... I'm a little concerned that they'll overflow before they finish flushing even though they are perfectly normal.
  2. People are SO friendly. I've been spending alot of time in Wal-Marts. Now, for those who aren't aware, Wal-Mart employees are not paid particularly well. These are working-class folks who have hard jobs with little reward. And, even so, out of 10 people I've come into contact with only 1 has been less than effusively nice. Interestingly, they bring out the nice in me. Don't get me wrong, in Jordan, I start of nice with a smile and all. But the reception is usually so dour that I give up quickly. Here a little smile and I'm bowled over with niceness and Have a Nice Days. I have to admit, I missed that.
  3. Pumping your own gas is a pain. I'd forgotten how much I hated it. On the upside, I don't have to worry about anyone trying to cheat me and the check-out girl at the gas station was extra-nice, but... it's still a pain for we spoiled full-service aficionados.
  4. With the exception of #3, everything is just SO much easier. Really, I know this, but I'm not sure I know this... know what I mean. I've gotten oodles of shopping done and haven't gone beyond Wal-Mart yet. Where else can you get affordable clothing (don't ask me about my $3 tops for the girlBeans), groceries, and home improvement supplies all in one place?I missed the Wal-Mart...!
  5. Vegetables are crazy expensive. You get so used to buying four pound of cucumbers for 1JD that it's hard to imagine that 1 JD will only buy a cucumber and a half... MemeBean has taken to buying all local vegetable stand produce, which is cheaper and tastier.
  6. Arby's Jamocha Shake is the BOMB! Literally, it is SO good... And the Beans have decide Arby's rocks too, so MommaBean is happy. Now we just have to find time to go again.

I'm forgetting something I had for this list, but I'll add it later when I remember. Anyone else want to play?

Happy Surprises!

7 Comments:

At 9:34 PM , OpenID emigrant2immigrant said...

ME, People just being nice is all I have been craving for 2-1/2 years. Smiling, friendly strangers. Common courtesy and respect. I remember just visiting India last February my shell-shocked reactions to all of the smiling, friendly people and I expect to enjoy it a great deal when we arrive in Michigan in 9 days.

YES to Wal-Mart! I expect to spend some time there... and Sam's Club! And also, since I only have a 16-day vacation in the States, I am ordering things and having them delivered to my parents so I will add to your list... DSW Shoe Warehouse! I ordered 5 pairs of excellent-quality, name-brand sandles for under $100. I am thrilled.

So glad you're having a good summer. Bittersweet, I imagine - the wonderful feeling of being back and yet knowing that the time is ticking away before you return.

 
At 4:23 AM , Blogger abu 'n um tulip said...

Yeah for friendly people! You ought to try Thailand some time. The respect and friendliness they give total strangers who stop by their business is actually a little creepy if you're used to Jordan.

Yeah for Arby's and Jamocha shakes! We should lobby for Arby's in Amman... and Wendy's, maybe Taco Bell. Why are we stuck with Burger King, Hardee's and KFC?

Yeah for full-service gas in Jordan! You think it's bad now, try filling your tank in the middle of winter in Michigan. Your fingers are too numb to swipe the card to pay at the pump.

 
At 7:08 AM , Blogger Dave said...

The thing I love the most is paying for EVERYTHING with my debit/check card. No more having to stand in line at the bank and get cash all the time. Transacting is so convenient.

 
At 9:37 PM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Emi, sounds like a great time. Hope you enjoy Michigan...

Um T, let's lobby together.

Dave, forgot that one. Love paying with the card... Love even the expectation that you COULD...

 
At 3:09 PM , Blogger Nicole said...

Yes, even in California people seem to be pretty friendly. The last time we were in Alabama and boy the folks are super friendly there and very polite. CA is not known for being so polite, but I have been surprised. And yes, pumping gas stinks.

 
At 3:42 PM , Anonymous Sharon said...

That's true. I'm from California and found travelling in the South a bit overwhelming. Also the whole Bible Belt thing...

I'm unused to nice. It makes me nervous like they want to convert me or sell me something. I want honestly and straightforwardness. Everyone seems cagy. Maybe it's just me.

Once on a trip home, I made the mistake of visiting a Wal-Mart with a friend and my family flipped when they saw the bags. I didn't realize how politically incorrect it is (and my family is one to jump on that bandwagon!) Needless to say, Target saw a lot of me! (Still way, way cheaper than France).

Have you done anything entertaining yet for them? Before the gas crises a few years ago, I told the guy I wanted $20 worth and he had to chase me down with the change (couldn't believe I could fill that big car for less!) Another time I asked which gas was unleaded. I thought the lady behind me was having some sort of attack when a nice guy behind me mumbled "You have been gone awhile, haven't you?" (unleaded had been standard for years in Ca.)

Your kids don't speak to each other in Arabic do they? That gets some stares with mine in French. Then there was the time I asked about getting WEE FEE on my computer. He kind of chuckled. "You mean WHY-FIE??"

About the toilets, that was always a killer with those of us taking our kids to the States. Not only do they have a lot of water but it's close to the top and the toilets are so low! My daughter fell in one at my parents'. My girlfriend found her daughter playing in one at her mom's, splashing her face with it (fun! not that dangerous the ped assured the mom). Toddlers think it's a bidet or meant as a toy. Be happy that your kids are past that stage...

 
At 7:11 PM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Sharon, I can imagine that too much niceness can be intimidating. Of course, I grew up with it, so for me it IS a homecoming...

Happily, my Mom could own stock in Walmart she shops there so much. So, no political discussions of its intentions and such. And while I'm not overly pleased with many of their policies and actions, I expect that would apply to any store. I like Target, but their clothes just don't hold up as well...

We've been doing all kinds of fun things... we spend alot of time at the pool, have been to 2 art museums (one with a special kids' area), saw Toy Story 3 today, Vacation Bible School, and such things... Soon we'll hit the zoo and are tentatively planning a trip to Disney. Woohoo.

The gas thing is too funny. It's been unleaded since I can remember and even Jordan has gone to all unleaded gas... Sadly, gas isn't very cheap here :(.

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home