internationalism before korea tripPosted: November 12, 2015
I find myself to be quite an international person, and I am definitely a multi-culture child. I believe that spending almost all my life abroad and away from British culture has allowed me to form my own culture in my own way, making me a very individual person. Though I’m not as individual as people would think.
When people that I live with and i am surrounded by now find out that I spent all my life abroad they are fascinated by it. For me its a very normal way of life and the friends I grew up with. We all grew up in a culture that defiantly had an effect on us and has probably made us change who we could of been if we had stayed in our national countries.
AGE 2- 9
In the middle east was a huge change for my parents more then me I think as I didn’t know anything different. To me it was just normal life, going to school that’s surrounded by desert, and having friends both from the uk and little girls in burkas. Living in a mansion with 6 floors a basement and a marble stair case, seemed very normal for me back then but thinking back on it now sounds absolutely mad for a family of 4, with 2 children under the age of 10. Living in the middle gave me a different view of the Muslim culture, when I was a child walking on the street I used to look up and feel terrified by only being able to see the eyes of a person. But there was no danger of harm or anything whereas today someone will see a woman in a burka or in full traditional Arabic clothing and avoid them completely and get the stereotypical thoughts in there heads.
In Thailand, Bangkok, is a place that is completely different to anywhere else in the world. I think people from the uk get this impression of beaches and cocktails and beautiful sunrises everyday. Whereas the reality is streets covered in filth, stray dogs and cats and people on every corner, high rise building squeezed in every space place available, with shanty houses held in place by the 50 floor sky scrappers. Don’t get me wrong I love thailand, and I loved my time there. The time i spent in thailand was a time for when i started defining myself as a person, almost grooming myself into the person i wanted to become. I love Asian food, i don’t stop eating it tbh i think i eat it just as much if not more then typical british food. I think its one of those things that becomes developed when your immersed in the culture for so long. Me and my brother are always splashing Tabasco or a whole chili in dishes that doesnt require it. I tend to blow peoples mouths off with the amount of spice i put in my food but for me its only a tingle. Thailand wasnt only good for food, it was good for everything that you needed or wanted. there was some strange rules in bangkok though, due to the company my dad works for they sent down rule to the workers and the families of those workers. My mother was never allowed to drive the family car, this was mainly because of how bad the roads actually were, and my father only drove it on the weekends if even that, meaning I always had a driver to take me to the shopping center or ballet class. It was a very typical thing of that culture whether you were a foreigner or just a wealthy business man. Also maids, my mum had so much freedom to do what she wanted, because we had a maid coming to the house like 3 times a day to do all the cleaning and washing. Though my mother being strict would only allow her to clean certain parts of the house so that we wouldnt become lazy children who couldnt pick up after themselves.
Moving to Colorado USA was probably the hardest move for me, as I knew I wouldnt have a support system of expat kids like me. When id lived in thailand and kuwait I had other children with the same background as me, they were forced to move to the country because of the work that their parents were doing. We just had to follow, though my family was very lucky with the time we had, as some of my friend would move year after year, making it very difficult for them to settle in to a knew place. But back to the USA, the first place id lived where almost everyone was from the same culture background and there was no outsiders. I stepped into the high school to the completely unknown, thinking that it was going to be like the movies where the cheerleaders were the hottest girls in school and the jocks would pick on the nerds. the first thing they all noticed about me was my accent, which to them was surprisingly british. An american high school is a culture in its self, because it is just like the movies, which sounds bonkers. There’s cheerleaders (though ares werent very good), jocks (with there big letter jackets on), and of course the nerds. But the weird thing is, that there not individual groups they are all mixed together, my best friend was a cheerleader and i of course the nerd. learning to drive and living in a house with a white picket fence and having the family pet, just makes it sound like i was living the “american dream”. But by far the so called”american dream” is dead, there is no longer freedom for all and all that picket fence and get a better life blah blah blah. It reminds me of that bansky piece which say “dreams cancelled”, no joke i had a white picket fence, the family dog and the big 4 wheel drive car. But life is still life wherever you live it. I still had to go to school from 7am till 3 pm, still had to study and was constantly trying to find time just to see my friends.