I’m learning that women living overseas say some of the funniest, craziest, most interesting things during the course of the day.
The way of life in another country isn’t wrong or weird. Yet, as women living overseas who are learning to experience life in another culture, time and place, we can for sure say some funny things.
The sun had set and we were closing up the house for the night. I was thinking over the day.
I was busy telling my sweaty teen girls to shower before bed, refilling the water filter and making sure the padlocks were locked on the doors. Jeremy had just finished cleaning out Zander’s dog food container because it was CRAWLING with little, tiny black beetles and I was tired of sticking my hand down into a beetle-infested container.
Dinner was over and we were all done with the day.
I was laughing and saying, “Well, I wonder what tomorrow morning will bring… yesterday, it was a frog and today, it was an 8 inch gecko. Oh wait… Jeremy, I didn’t tell you about the frog yet, did I?”
I proceeded to tell him about a huge frog that had been hopping across the floor early one morning. I failed to work up the courage to actually touch and catch the frog myself so I threw a basket lid over it, successfully trapping it until Elayna woke up and could carry the crazy frog outside.
Jeremy laughed and said, “Well, Elayna, your mother has grown up over the years but obviously not enough to grab a frog with her bare hands.”
Life for women living overseas requires great courage, intense patience and a huge sense of humor.
We find ourselves in the oddest situations and saying the funniest things. Things that if we said them in any other context, would not make sense or even seem real.
Women overseas say the funniest things:
“No, you can’t have oatmeal. It was full of mites.”
“Oh, the peanut butter had maggots crawling inside the jar. Someone must have left it open long enough for a fly to land in it… gross.”
“I know the gecko is big in the bathroom… at least it is eating the cockroaches so you don’t have too many of them.”
“You watched a gecko eat a cricket?”
“Wait. What? There is a spider on the door eating a fly? On the inside of the door or the outside? The inside? Ugh.”
“Yes, I trapped a frog with a basket lid. Can you please catch it and take the frog outside?”
“There is something or someone in the house! oh… wait. That is a gecko jumping down the stairs.”
“Jeremy, stop the truck! My purse filled with ants during church!!”
“Can someone grab a kleenex and pick up gecko poop so I can fold laundry?”
“Make sure you dump out the water in the hot pot before you use it. Add fresh water. There could be dead ants in the water. They climb in there sometimes.”
“Jeremy, I bought you some Febreeze so you can get the sweat smell out of your chair.”
“Oh, wow… my cup sweat soaked through 2 coasters. That’s gross.”
“Yes, let’s go to that restaurant for lunch. They have bathrooms.”
“Look at the noodle bag before you buy it. You can usually see the beetles inside if they are there.”
“We have 3 bags of flour in the freezer now so we shouldn’t need any until after we make bread again.”
“The freezer stops bug eggs from hatching in the flour. Really.”
“Throw the egg carton away! We don’t want the roach eggs to hatch!”
“Elayna just told me the gecko in their bathroom hissed at her… will you catch it today?”
“It rained again so we need to push water off the roof.”
“Buy smaller bags of chips. Otherwise the humidity ruins it as soon as you open the bag.”
“Oh, you have to wear spandex. It is too hot and sweaty NOT to wear spandex.”
“I am American. I like ice.”
“No, I am not Canadian. or Italian. I’m an American.”
“No, I don’t speak Wolof like my neighbor. She has been here for 8 years. I’m still learning French.”
“The tailor wanted me to try my new dress on right there in her shop, on the street! Uhm… no!”
“Use the filtered water for soup stock. The water is full of sand today.”
“Yes, honey, it does kind of look like Starwars here… we do live in the desert.”
“Jeremy, there are cows outside the gate so watch when you pull the truck out.”
“Hold on… I can’t hear you over the goats next door.”
“I’m busy… there were beetles in the noodles and I’m skimming them off the water.”
“Cook the meat right away or your whole fridge will smell like the trash pile.”
“Girls, do not touch your faces at all until you wash your hands. Not once.”
“Lay on the tile. It is cooler there.”
“No, you can’t wear that yet. It needs to sit for another day or you’ll get mango worms.”
“A blow-dryer? What is that? I haven’t seen mine in 3 months!”
“Ok… one of you kill flies, one of you fill water bottles and one of you help Daddy lock up the grill.”
“I need a new gas tank. The gas ran out with a lasagna in the oven.”
“Go get another box of milk off the shelf in the pantry.”
“I’m sorry the milk has clumps in it… it’s fine. Just eat your cereal.”
“Just wear it. All our clothes have holes in them. We’ll get new ones in a year.”
“Here is a kleenex. Wipe the sweat off your face.”
“Honey, your pony tail is soaking wet… put it up in a bun so you can cool off.”
“Jeremy, our guard was wearing that t-shirt we threw in the trash last week.”
“Save the boxes. Issa will give them to the shepherds for their sheep to eat.”
“Yep, it is true. Hurricanes do start right off our coast and head towards America.”
“Girls. Do not move on this bench. It could break. We do not need the entire missionary family falling on the cement floor because they broke the bench. Although that would be hilarious.”
“Well, the good thing about only one girl in your class speaking English is that you’ll learn lots of new words in other languages this year!”
“Girls, your driver is here! Do you have your water bottle? Make sure you drink a lot of water today.”
“There is a monkey crossing the road!”
“Well, in America you are going to have to wear shoes.”
“Just go to the pharmacy. He’ll let you go into the back and find what you want.”
“Even the 5th ATM didn’t have money?”
“Do not look. Just go. and don’t wash your hands… I have sanitizer.”
“Honey, you can’t touch all the meat in the bowl. Just eat the meat in front of you. Everyone else doesn’t want to eat the meat you touched… and don’t reach over to his side of the bowl to grab rice! Only in front of you!”
“Turn there… yeah. By the donkeys.”
“Look! There is a goat in the driver’s seat of that van.”
“Lock your doors… remember when that boy ran out and pulled your door open when we were driving down the road? Yeah. Let’s lock our doors.”
“I need that fan or I can’t drink coffee.”
“Pile the dishes on the island. The ants don’t find them as easily there.”
“Jeremy, the girls said a kid killed a snake in science class and the teacher was cleaning up the blood. Isn’t that exciting?”
“Just drink the bissap. We’ll eat later.”
“Yes, banana splits count as dinner. It is too hot to cook anything. And ice cream is cold.”
These are just a few that I can think of right off the top of my head…
There are more… always more for women living overseas.
Sometimes these things fly out of my mouth and I think, “Who on earth am I?”
I’m sure you have those moments too. You might have thrown a lid over a frog or fished bugs from boiling water or thrown away something special because of maggots. You might have said something funny or embarrassing in your new language or played the foreigner card because you are, after all, from another country.
You might have said something totally crazy and wondered too, “Who am I?” as the words spilled from your lips.
So, tell me, women living overseas…
What is something that you’ve said recently?