2014-2017 I was in Kuwait City(Mahboula) Kuwait. I left there in June and have begun my new adventure in Monterrey Mexico.
As I am sitting here in my apartment, the one I have already hung pictures up in and moved furniture around in and figured out the AC night ONE. I can’t help by contrast my transition to Mexico and my transition to Kuwait. It has been nearly 3 years since that move and I haven’t thought about it much until now.
The similarities are there: nervous to make friends and worried about getting my classroom set up in time for students.
The differences are what got me. When I moved to Kuwait I was barely 22. I had just graduated college. I had never worked full time. And I hadn’t left the USA since I was 13. When I arrived in Kuwait I was shocked at how different my neighbor(HOOD) was compared to the one I had left in Ohio. I didn’t understand the escalators that were just ramps that your grocery cart can go up. I didn’t understand the metric system very well. I got overwhelmed in the grocery store. I panicked trying to light my gas stove and oven. All of these things were new experiences. But the big reason they were a big deal was because I didn’t expect them. I expected the way people dressed to be different and the way they drove. But not the way they grocery shopped, my USA brain figured that was the same everywhere.
Now, in Mexico, I feel like an old pro. I know that there will be glitches with the apartment. I also know how to control the temperature. I also can totally handle where to hang things up. Hot water? I’ll figure it out. And when I got to the grocery store and they had an escalator ramp for my shopping cart I felt comforted. Because they had that in my last home too. And if I can make it there, I can make it here, and soon it will feel like home too.