I am not in the Middle East Justin!

I am all about respecting cultures.  I mean, I try to be all about it, as much as I can.  It is definitely hard living in such a quiet country, especially for me, who was considered "loud" when living in the States.   I try though people.  I try.  Getting on the noiseless metro and not making a sound is not an easy task for me, but I have been successful so far!  OK, at least up to the point of when my friend Bandna got here.  I love friends.  She is one of those people who you just give a certain look to and then you start laughing hysterically, not realizing that everyone around is staring at you like you are a fool.  So that has happened a few times.  What are you going to do?  The other day we were on the metro and this guy bent over as the doors were closing.  His coat got stuck in the door and the metro took off (he was on the metro).  He tried to walk away from the door a bit, but the door had his coat!  It was so funny looking, especially for it to happen to a sophisticated French man.  Luckily he was around our age, so when we burst out laughing, he just sort of smiled awkwardly.  We laughed for the remaining time on the metro until we got to our stop.  Poor guy didn’t know what to do with us. 

Today we were in the most giggly mood once again.  Our friend Michael is also in town and all four us (Justin included in that four) went sight seeing.  Bandna and I were having the time of our lives, laughing and playing around as we walked in front of the guys.  All of a sudden, Justin angrily comes up to us and says that he sees why men in other cultures have the women walk behind them.  He explains in his very serious tone that it is NOT FUN to have your wife checked out by all the guys that walk by.  He then took the lead and left Bandna and I behind to get not only looked at, but also talked to.  We decided we felt better walking in the front and took to our place for the remaining sight seeing times.  Justin is just jealous that we can have a good time.  That’s what I say anyways!  I think it is attractive to people to actually see other people smile once in a while.  Just kidding.  The French smile, but they definitely don’t do little twirls and continuously giggle (at least at our age).  People were more likely looking at us in disbelief rather than checking us out.  But either way, the American just has to come out in me once in a while!  I love it! 

I have felt a certain freedom with Bandna here.  It is the same freedom that I felt when my sister came to visit.  It is so comforting to have another person as wild and crazy as yourself to just be stupid with sometimes.  I can only bottle up my obnoxiousness so long before it has to burst out.  There is freedom in it.   I am sure once Bandna leaves, I will go back to my boring self who was taught not to look people in the eye, who will remain silent on the metros in fear of someone giving me a wrong look, who will barely whisper in a restaurant so as not to draw attention to the fact that I am an American, who will judge other loud and obnoxious Americans when really the truth is that I am just a wee bit jealous of the fact that those Americans have other people to just be themselves around.   Sad.  I almost got a tear.  For real.  Hmmm.  So, who is going to be the next person to visit me so I can just be me?  Just joking, I am going to need to learn how to do that without visitors if I want to survive.  And no, I will not walk behind Justin.  Give me a break!


  1. relevantgirl on March 5, 2006 at 3:55 am

    It’ll be moi, Jen. Soon, we can laugh and make all the Dutchy folks stare at our antics.

  2. Uncle Bill on March 7, 2006 at 2:41 pm

    I enjoy reading your thoughts! And I am sooo glad that you like to walk in front! What does Justin want…….a wife that is just unattractive enough that nobody will look twice? Enjoy your beauty, ’cause you’ve got it, girl!!

  3. Cindy Jackson on March 9, 2006 at 7:39 pm

    Hi Jen : D
    Again I really enjoyed reading about your craziness. It reminds me of my sister and I especially when growing up helping our mom teach Sunday School and we tried not to look at each other because we knew we would start cracking up… which we did at the worse times. We still talk of those times and my sister probably makes me laugh the most but your mom does a good job at it too : D 😀

  4. amy on March 11, 2006 at 8:24 pm

    I remember when Jas and I first got there and you were so uptight that I was like “what the heck happened to my sister??” But then after about a day, you let down your hair (ol hal stupil..i actually pictured you letting down your hair from a bun!) and became the little Jenny I know and love.

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