Coming from one of the wealthiest, most extravagant, culturally diverse places in the world definitely messes with your perceptions of what is considered normal. Here are a few of the things too many of us take for granted while living in the Middle East:
1. Breathtaking views. From impressive skylines to desert sand dunes.
There is nothing harder than going from ocean views to college dorm parking lots.
2. Mouthwatering shawarmas and real Hummus, not whatever the U.S. is attempting to pass off as "Authentic Arab Food"
If I hear you talking about your artisanal, bell pepper hummus one more time...
3. Malls where you can get lost, ski and buy anything you could ever want.
The failproof weekend plan that let you escape the miserable heat with your friends.
4. Socializing in coffee shops with the locals.
There's nothing like spending 6 hours of your Saturday afternoon at Starbucks with your local friends and the sweetest baristas in the world.
5. ROUNDABOUTS. I know this is weird but it's a thing.
Can't think of any other place in the world where people enjoy going through roundabouts.
6. Hearing people integrate Arabic words in their sentences when speaking English.
Inshallah, Yalla, Habibi, 7aram, Hashkal, and so many other words that will forever be a part of my vocabulary.
7. The most amazing people from all over the world with whom you shared the most incredible and absurd experiences with.
Like catching a glimpse of this totally casual pet in a car.