Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia

You know you’re an expat from the Middle East when. . .

1. You can’t answer the question, “Where are you from?”
2. You flew before you could walk.
3. You have a passport, but no driver’s license.
4. You have sat in a “men’s” or “women’s” section in an airport, hospital, or restaurant.
5. You run into someone you know at every airport.
6. You have ever gone to the “hammam” or endured a “shamal.”
7. Conversations with friends take place at 6:00 in the morning or 10:00 at night.
8. Your life story uses the phrase “Then we went to…” five times.
9. You can speak with authority about the quality of various international airlines.
10. You feel self conscious around all white people.
11. You are used to giving directions according to landmarks, not street names.
12. You live at school and go home for vacation.
13. You treasure pork and root beer as highly-valued commodities.
14. You have ever had to wait for prayer call to be over to finish shopping.
15. You got days off school for Christian and Muslim holidays.
16. You think VISA is a document stamped in your passport, and not a plastic card you carry in your wallet.
17. You’ve heard of or tried a “hubbly bubbly.”
18. You get all the jokes in Aladdin.
19. You are used to being stared at.
20. Rain is still one of the most wonderful sounds in the world.
21. Your wardrobe can only handle two seasons: hot and warm.
22. You know the geography of the rest of the world, but you don’t know the geography of your own country.
23. Your school memories include duck-and-cover drills.
24. You call a chicken burrito a “shwarma.”
25. Your dorm room/apartment/living room looks a little like a museum with all the “exotic” things you have accumulated
26. You know that it truly is a small world.

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