Weird Hair, Unknown Language, and Unearthly Food?
Gazing at the unnatural city, I walked through the streets feeling lost and forgotten. There was no one familiar. How others spoke was like trying to understand a newborn baby, impossible. I didn’t know how I was going to survive in this dreadful town. The clothes were shocking and I would never be caught dead walking with the ugly long dresses that every women and girl wore on a daily basis. The food looked like hair that was pulled out of a ten-year-old drain, and I thought, why would someone want to eat this food? I had the worst perspective on the town and didn’t even take a second to respect what they do in their culture and city. I know that this sounds like something that is normal to us, but just wearing shorts and a t-shirt made you feel like you were showing everything compared to the citizens of Qatar.
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I only thought about America and what I thought was the only way to live.
We had just moved from Albuquerque, New Mexico because of my dad’s job. He needed to move to the central offices in Doha, Qatar. I was five years old and a total American child. I thought that any where outside of the United Sates was too different, weird, and not what I wanted. I moved with my family, my mom, dad, and sister.
I insisted that my family needed to give up trying to figure out this town and the people in it. No one was respecting us and no one could understand what we were trying to tell them. We hopped into our white Range Rover like we owned the city and sped down the road like we didn’t even see any other object. We drove passed hundreds of old, crummy, and vile houses that I was praying to God weren’t like ours. I was acting so spoiled, rude, and judgmental,
I had no honor for what their style was and thought the only way to live and design was like it was in America, the people had no life’s, the town was like the ghetto of the world, and they seemed to all own camels, I rudely thought to my selfish self.
As we slowly drove up to our gorgeous new shiny as glass house, I couldn’t believe that I thought my parents would even think about buying any other house. The house was shinning in the path of the sun, bricks smooth as peanut butter, and prettier than a newly bloomed flower in the sunset of the sky.
We were going to have to go to school and that day was tomorrow. It was Sunday night; Monday was going to be the ultimate first day of elementary school, in Qatar. The last thing that I wanted to do was go meet strange kids who are going to try to talk to me with their long white dresses and covers on their face. I couldn’t understand them; they acted like I didn’t fit in.
This day was going to be the start of the rest of my life: no good food, different people, and not being able to communicate with anyone. We drove up to the school blasting Disney Channel’s, That’s So Raven, theme song. As I walked up to the dreadful front doors of a child prison, there were people who acted friendly and welcoming, but I knew that it was all just an act. Their polite facial expressions looked as fake as a Malibu Barbie. The people in the school were totally different then the people in the town. It was like I was not in Qatar. I realized at that moment that this school was a school for American children. I was just like all the other kids and they were just like me. I was not alone. I was not the only kid that was coming to a new town. They may also came from America, thinking that they were different, just the way that I was feeling. That was the moment when my mind clicked that I was not alone. This town was just different then America. That does not mean that it was wrong or off target.
“Mom, this is nothing like I expected! Everyone is just like me,” I exalted.
“Katie, there is a reason that we put you into this school and not a public one,” my mom politely replied back.
This was a realization; my parents knew how I was only thinking about America and what they do there. They didn’t want me to turn into someone that is doesn’t feel like an American, but they wanted me to learn about other cultures and their traditions.
The school was a place of love, happiness, and welcoming people. Yet, the moment that I walked out of the school everything changed, the people’s attitudes, being able to talk to the people, and having friends. The American School of Doha, ASD, was somewhere that felt like home to me. But the moment I walked outside the school I felt like I was put into a new world, they were two different places that had little in common.
The outside world was like an unreliable setting where you couldn’t talk, look, or even ask anyone anything; to me it was like they didn’t even want you to be there and they seemed very racist towards American. When they saw that you were from America it was all downhill from there, they would be rude, snotty, and unfriendly towards you. When you are in a foreign country, you don’t know their rules, you can’t just decide to do something that you think might be right. The traditions that each country follows are what make us all different. They are not all the same as America and that is something that you need to be very careful respectful of.
It was so different moving from my old rustic town of Albuquerque, to the up-town, high business town of Doha. They were two totally opposite countries and they were both my homes. They don’t seem to have anything in common, it was not that Qatar was a bad or not normal town they just seemed to do things differently. Moving out of America really opened my eyes to the world around me. Each person has a different perspective and has different beliefs.
The longer I lived in Qatar, I realized that while living through all the different cultures, traditions, and styles that when people have their own way of living. It may not be the way that you think, they just are brought up and taught the way the family and city is normally. In Qatar, I was always convinced that just because the sales people, waiters, and mangers in the cities stores and restaurants were rude to me, but really I just had my set to that. I never even tried to think about them positively.
Living through all the changes and different atmosphere really changed my perspective on the world around us. Not only does each country have different traditions and ways of life, but also we need to respect how they live. Just because we may not think this is they way people live, but they know how they want to walk the earth and it is not our job to tell them how to. Honor, character, and fairness are needed when you are representing your country to the world around you. There is no need to judge the people that are not like you because when you don’t give them a chance you may not be really finding out who they are.