Boring Night Life:
Unless for the period we were living in downtown Toronto, the night life has been very boring and uniform for me. After getting home after 5PM, and especially now in the dark, it feels like a huge drag to think about leaving the house for a chore at 6PM, or to go to Library, forget about even thinking about going for shopping unless you really really have to!! The town streets are quiet, everybody is at their homes, and all the TVs are on.
On the contrary, while back home, I really enjoyed the night life. My mom would leave for her dental office at 6PM to begin with!! Then she would pick me up at 9PM to go have Pizza somewhere with family!! Imagine a kid in a pizzeria after 9PM in U.S.!! Tsk tsk! Then, after all that, she would suggest going to market. Oh I loved it!
Very Sweet Sweets:
I had forgotten how sweet the sweet stuff are in US until yesterday when I took a yummy bite from a chocolate tart. The sugar overpowers the tastes really, even in mocha, unless it is made with care and love of coffee and chocolate.
Even gaz doesn't taste TOO sweet among Iranian sweets after that.
Gosh I still feel full from the Fetta Omelet I had this morning. First meal portion I had out of the house since our return on Monday.
Meal portions were not small back home, but they were not this big either.
It is cold inside. The house is open from five directions and it is old. Even the office is cold sometime, unless the heater is broken in which case it is HOT.
In Iran houses and apartments can be rather warm actually, sometime too warm. But usually comfortable.
Well, I am not sure if I can make a strong claim here, but many times, in many places, people are indifferent about each other. People just drive or just walk by you or just sit and mind their own business. Even colleagues sometimes, even after coming back from the holidays. Seems like they do not care about you. They don't even look at you unless they are judging you when your son is whining while walking behind you.
Over there, people are not indifferent. Sometime they may seem nosy or rude even. From pedestrians who may throw a comment at your beauty, to the shopkeeper who wants to know why you didn't choose to buy something you decided not to buy, to the family members who ask you if A was going to have another sibling anytime soon, to the driver who chooses to guide the other driver with how to park... People look at each other, they look to find a familiar face, and if they do they pause and say salaam and ask about whomever they know in your family and ask you to say salaam to them too. If they find you look lost in the market they ask what you needed. You can ask a total stranger about their experience about the product offerings of a particular shop, and they don't get scared that a stranger is talking to them! They pause and talk to you in fact, not dismissing you.
Being the Alien:
Needless to say, I feel like the visual and auditory minority almost everywhere.
Needless to say, I do not feel like a minority over there. As a matter of fact I feel like being from an elite family and living a nice and relatively convenient life.
I drive to work, everyday, and drive back home. I drive to buy milk, I drive to buy a cup of coffee, I drive to take A to his swimming class. I drive everywhere. Granted, when the whether is warm and it is only me going to grab a cup of coffee or shop for pizza ingredients from Trade Joe's I sometimes bike. Otherwise I am usually driving.
Over there people usually drive too, I think they have gotten used to it. But I walked, a lot. To go to my sister's place from my dad's, to go shopping for spices, to have a chat with my brother.
Family and Friends:
Needless to say, we are too lonely here sometimes. I do miss having a bowl of aash at a friends place, or having my afternoon portion of fruit with my mom. One really feels the love there; many are there who really really love you and miss you and appreciate who you are.
Ironically, I missed driving itself. I cannot drive over there anymore. It is too crowded and too chaotic.
Needless to say, I really enjoy my work. I didn't really miss it miss it, but I did look forward to a new year with it.
Your child is under too many influences, so is your mind, over there. It was OK for kids to watch many movies we wouldn't otherwise let A watch. It was hard to let him realize everything was not always possible as some loved one would make it possible. It was hard to show him many goods and many bads as they were negated shortly after.
Paying for Goods:
Price of the $ fluctuates and it affects every thing. Then there is no guarantee about the justness of the price you pay to get something. You had to bargain on every thing and it is a skill one can forget after a while.
I missed my friends in US, and the circle of my Sufi friends.
I can carry my own style in clothing easier here and there.
You can feel the Oxygen in the air here, it was tough to find over there.
It is way more convenient to exercise here or go for a run.
My life is here. I like my life here.