I had the following thoughts when I started my first year overseas. As I write, I'll be reflecting on living in Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates over the past two years. It is important to read these blogs as a personal viewpoint of one person moving to a different nation and moving out of their comfort zone into a different place in the world. I look forward to reading your comments about my blogs.
"Well, after the plane ride, I landed at the Lahore International Airport with all of my baggage! Yes, I made it with all the pieces of luggage. When I finally got through customs and moved to get my baggage, the high school coordinator was there to meet me with a sign with my name on it. I then traveled to my new home in Lahore.
After riding in Lahore, I will never say a critical word about driving in the States. These people drive on the wrong side of the road, they have three different types of vehicles driving on the same side and in the same lane. Cars, motor bikes, and rickshaws are all driving in the same level. There is no reason in their driving, and your car horn is your best friend. They have very few street lights in this city.
Once I got to my new home in Lahore, I put my luggage down and was shown the apartment. It has a gas stove, an electrical washing machine, no dryer just a drying rack, a small icebox, dishes and glasses, and pots and pans. Oh I miss my cast iron skillet! I have a bed with a form mattress with no box springs! The bed sheets were very tough, and with no dresser for my clothing except for a changing room. The school was very gracious to stock my icebox with basic food until I was able to go to the grocery store.
Then all things went sour in a major way, the air condition went out for two days after I got here, and I got dehydrated to the point that the principle had me move into her house until my air conditioner was fixed. I was also informed that I could not drink the tap water and that the school had bottled water coming for me and the other teachers.
Yes, I had a major case of homesickness during my first few days here in Lahore, but it has gotten much better over time. I have been able to find American products in the grocery store, and I have been able to eat at restaurants which serve some American food. No steaks, no pork, no sweet tea, no American football, no Mexican food, but McDonalds does delivery to my house!
I also found out that changing money here is not easy due to that fact they only like new crisp dollars. I have lost eight dollars to the money changers. The prices here are very cheap. My haircut was 4.50, my paints and shirts to be ironed and pressed is .10 cents per piece, my grocery bill is no more than 30.00 per week. I have a maid who comes once a week for 25.00 per month. My driver for after school is 20.00 per month. My car is a tin can with four wheels on it. I miss my car!!!
School has been going on for the last few weeks and my kids are overall very good and I have enjoyed getting to know the other staff members of the school. The school is a great example of people in a nation wanting the very best for their children.
Some scary things so far in Lahore-
A guard at my house 24 hours/7 days to protect the house day and night
Being stopped at a military checkpoint because i am an American
Some interesting things so far in Lahore
Living in a male society and having things given to me first
The low prices of everything
Meeting people and getting to realize that they are good basic people in the world
i have now settled in here in Lahore and getting into a routine. The weather here is very hot and humid.
Until I write again, Take Care and drink some ice tea for me,
-- Whit" [now back in the US]