I am here to demystify the glamour and intrigue of expat life. Yes, it is awesome. Yes, every day is different. However, nothing in life is perfect. Here are some of the setbacks:
1.) We experience water cuts 2-3 times a month
2.) A trip to the grocery store is an adventure that often results in longing for recognizable ingredients, bottled sauces and familiar products from home. I once spent an hour in the grocery store in search of bleach.
3.) You cannot talk in shared or public spaces without stares, warnings and disapproval.
4.) There are no clear rules or procedures for any activity. Consistency is a foreign concept. It always depends on who you talk to and what they are feeling at the time.
5.) You may take 4-5 different types of transportation in one day….or sit in traffic for more than 2 hours.
6.) Even when you attempt to speak the language of the country, the slightest accent can lead to confusion…or you will become a ‘cute’ spectacle.
7.) Cobblestone streets are where heels go to die
8.) Internet is slooooooooooooooooow
9.) Foreign foods and flavors are ridiculously overpriced and not nearly as good
10.)There is a 10 hour time difference between me and my family and closest friends. The most important and joyous moments, as well as the biggest crises usually occur when they are still asleep.
11.) Sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. I am embarrassed to admit that I rely on Starbucks for good coffee.