Hi all - it's been a while. We got back a few weeks ago from a wonderful trip back to the States, which was jam packed with weddings, family, friends, lake houses, beach houses, and Chipotle.
This is the 2nd time that I've been back to the states since moving here and once again I am amazed at America. This is a PSA to remind you all of what a truly wonderful place it is and how LUCKY you are to be American.
Water. Don't take it for granted. It's in abundance at home, and it's so clean you can drink it out of the faucet and you won't get sick. Children can get baths every day and your pets have clean drinking water too. This is not always the case here for most people. After having water issues ever since I got back, I truly am thankful for water. Jordan is one of the water-poorest countries in the world.
Green Space. We spent the first portion of our r&r in glorious Montana and wow did we ever soak up all the beautiful colors there. Greenery is something that obviously everyone enjoys but probably doesn't really think about it on a day to day basis. Beautiful trees, lush grass, blooming flowers, waving wheat fields, babbling brooks (I could go all day...) are just some of the things that we have missed tremendously while being in our beige environment here that we enjoyed while in MT. For the most part, Americans take pride in their land too - it's pretty rare to see garbage marring those beautiful environments like it does here. Be thankful for yardwork!
Food. This is one thing I definitely think about daily. When I lived back in DC, I was working full time, planning a wedding for the last year I was there, taking care of a dog, etc etc and really didn't cook that often due to time constraints and general laziness. What I wouldn't give for a Harris Teeter or Whole Foods here! There is plenty of produce here for example, but so much or it is bruised, rotten, dirty, etc. Obviously, I am used to seeing pristine vegetables in gleaming rows and after taking home these gleaming veggies, I would casually rinse off the remaining pesticides on them which allowed them to remain so lovely and perfect. Not the case here! I must soak and rinse my produce with a special peroxide rinse because of the "fertilizer" they use. We'll stop there.
*One other quick note about food. Chicken breast. Be thankful that when you buy chicken breast at home, there aren't mysterious veins, bones, tendons, or blue specks in your "boneless chicken breast." It does not require you to manhandle it, it's just blissfully ready to go.
**Also, be thankful for bacon. Be very, very thankful for bacon.
Regulations. Ah, regulations. Not something I normally think about either, but regulations are actually an important part of how humans interact with one another. For example, regulations for handicapped persons in the U.S. are extensive. Every place has to be handicapped accessible. I am thankful for that, because that generally means there are orderly steps and ramps, not wonky stairs or broken down sidewalks that I can barely walk on as a healthy 28 year old with no handicaps. I really do appreciate the ease in which it is to actually walk around in the states.
Another regulation that I am thankful for back home deals with traffic and general road habits. For example, it is generally not allowed to stop in the middle of the highway if you happen to drive past a friend and want to stop and chat a bit. At home, you pull over and get out of everyone's way because that is the SAFE thing to do. You are also not allowed to randomly park in the middle of the street, get out of your car, walk in front of traffic and go have dinner. At home, you drive around for 30 minutes before squeezing your car into a too-small spot, and THEN walk on your evenly-bricked sidewalk to dinner, just like everyone else!
At this point, you may be muttering under your breath about how there are places in the U.S. with destitute people who have no water, and not even bruised vegetables to eat, and certainly no cars to drive. This is so, so, true but here, there isn't a sense of community responsibility like there is in the states - no special programs, no shelters, no YMCA's, no boys & girls clubs. Here, they don't stand a chance. There is no middle class here - you are either extremely wealthy, living in a rundown building, or living in a damn tent.
That's why I feel blessed. It may not seem like that because I am a champion complainer about Jordan, but if this country has done anything for me, it's given me a chance to see another side of the human component and even if I don't agree with it, I now know it exists. I realize how incredibly lucky I am to be American and have the most basic necessities available to me. I hope that once we leave here and go back home, I will remember and respect the time we spent here, and not take things like beautiful fruit and parking tickets for granted.
God Bless America and God Bless Jordan.