I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of time. It has forever been a struggle for me to manage it, especially with different values of time management being taught to me by different cultures.
In the 21st century, you wouldn’t expect that there would be so many grammatical and technical errors in printed signs, labels, and letters all over the world. I know this rant will probably be to the like-minded but I cannot help myself. I am dumbfounded every time I see a horrible translation like, “Please slowed” instead of “Attention please” or a small letter instead of a capital for a major highway sign. All it takes is for someone who speaks English to give it a second look.
Growing up, I was always an expat kid. My family and I lived in a compound in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. We attended the Saudi Arabian International School, known now as the American International School of Jeddah. And we visited Lebanon and Canada very often. When anyone asked me where I was from, I would say Canadian Lebanese. But I didn’t really know what that meant. Also, I had spent 95% of my life in Saudi Arabia but didn’t share that as my identity. Thus, I am a third culture kid.
After living in Toronto for a number of years, I somehow had anti-freeze develop in my blood. I was able to walk out of the house with shorts and a t-shirt at 8 degrees Celsius, just like everybody else. When my family visited, they were shocked at my endurance, and how I insisted on going out without at least long pants in place of shorts. My argument had me pointing to everyone else outside who was also dressed in summer attire and explaining that I was sick of that dreaded coat. Eight degrees in Toronto, Canada is something to celebrate, especially after a long, cold winter.
Wasta is an interesting concept heavily used in the Middle East. Anyone who lives there will learn it sooner or later, especially when they are faced with those long lines.