Wednesday, August 12, 2009

On Being Alone and Asking for Things

As most of you know, I'm an only child so I'm used to entertaining myself and being alone for periods of time and I used to be generally ok with that. Well, the culture in the Middle East is much more group and family oriented and it seems rather rare for people to spend a lot of time alone. It might even be looked at as weird if someone likes to spend a lot of time alone reading, listening to music or whatever.

Since I moved here, I've been around people a lot more than I'm used to back in the States. I've gotten used to it and I actually really like it. The only downside is that if I'm totally alone (in the apartment, outside, wherever) I start to feel lonely. I guess a lot can change in two months!

One thing I'm trying to train myself to do is to stop saying thank you so much and to not ask for things so much. With friends I often hear, 'you don't have to say thank you' and 'you don't have to ask, just take it, we're past that stage' as in, we know each other well enough so there is no need for these formalities. Having been trained all my life to 'mind my p's and q's' this is going to be quite difficult....and when I come back to the US if I've kept this habit, know that I'm not trying to be rude :)


  1. Heather,

    It is never a bad thing to be polite and to use the manners you were taught growing up, and you should never have to apologize or feel bad for treating people and their things with respect. It's not a habit I would want you to lose. Keep true to yourself and who you are, manners and all.


  2. Anonymous8/19/2009

    I agree with your mom. Other countries cultures shouldn't change YOUR culture. Get it? Stay the way you are, there is no shame in saying please and thank you and asking permission for anything in life. It's the way you were raised, nothing should change that. When you come home, I would STILL expect you to say thank you to me if I gave you something or did something for you, remember, if you change -- that does not mean that WE did, nor did our expectations of your manners change.....hope this makes sense.

    On the "lonely" topic, its kind of weird, but I know how you feel. Working with Uncle Dale day in and day out, and being married, living together/working together 24-7 -- some days I think I'll go crazy to have some "space." But now he's in Chicago for a week, and I find myself feeling very lonely at times without him. You'd think I'd be enjoying this quiet time, and I am -- I just have my moments once in awhile of feeling very alone. Then he calls for the 10th time that day, and that sure as hell breaks my solitude. HA HA HA. You are sure to have periods of loneliness, that is to be expected.
    Love you bunches!

  3. Ha ha ha ha! Sometimes a phone call is all you need to realize some along time really is needed :)

    Don't worry, when I come back, I will definitely still say please and thank you like I'm used to. I still say it a lot here, it's just some of my good friends here that can get annoyed by it. I'm just a please and thank you kind of girl :)