Let’s talk scary shit…
On the ride to work, during a traffic jam, I saw this little girl hanging out the back window. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen something like this. Kids jump around the back seat, front seat, hell they’ll even sit on the lap of whomever is driving. Twenty minutes later we finally got to the reason for the traffic — a school bus and van collided in a roundabout. Luckily, the children who were on the bus were safe on the sidewalk. But, there was an ambulance there, and the two vehicles looked pretty banged up. It’s no surprise since people drive crazy here. They do the stupidest shit, and you’re like dude are you suicidal?
Those of you back home might be wondering why children aren’t locked into their seats, or why there is no seatbelt law. Well, there is a seatbelt law. There are speed cameras, speed bumps, same traffic laws we have, but there are drivers from all over the world. Some of which are used to driving in far crazier traffic scenarios. And then there are the drivers from here who still ram their SUVs into Roundabouts without even slowing down. Of course there are also the terrified newbies who stop at Roundabouts when they need to hit it, slowing down (possibly pissing off) people like me who’ve moved one phase past that — although I’m still no way near as aggressive as I should be.
Not every local drives this way, nor does every foreigner. There are lots of cautious folk who try to not cause an accident, and whew for that! The rental guy came to pick up my car so that it can get serviced, and he was totally shocked I had no dings yet. So THANK YOU to the non-crazy drivers out there! Seriously, from the bottom of my heart.
I believe what I call craziness connects to the Inshallah mindset. You see people here truly believe in God’s will. If it’s meant to happen it’s going to happen. If not, well there’s nothing you can do about it. As a westerner I’m like but why tempt fate? Perhaps God is a maybe on this, so if you’re more careful he’ll side with you continuing to live (and not taking anyone else out with you). But, you see I also do not fully believe in God’s will. I was raised on the notion of choice, so I will never quite see these things the same way. But, I am trying. If I look at things through the god-willing point of view I understand (a little) what scares or frustrates me. I deal with it better than if I look at it through my point of view —- of course I am choosing to do this, so I guess my way is also still working.
I didn’t mean to write so much about the driving (again) because the point of my ramble actually connects to something far more scarier: ISIS. Yep, it’s been all over the news, and people back home ask me about it. I always say, but it’s totally safe where I am. And, well other than the driving, it totally feels that way. I genuinely like the people I meet over here — from all walks of life. We pretty much love and want the same things (well on a deeper level/ surface wise we’re different), and we’re totally good with that. I don’t fear the people who live here, nor do they fear me.
But, this ISIS thing, isn’t about them. It’s about a group they’ve also taken a stand against. They’ve remained neutral on so much of what my part of the world is in conflict with countries in their part of the world, but this time they’ve sent some of their own men and women to fight against this form of terrorism. Now, they too could become a target, so the State Department has sent out several warnings for Westerners to be careful. There’s also the obvious, just like at home, not everyone who lives here is happy, so there’s that.
I don’t know what to say to people back home about the politics of this, or what my odds are, or any of that. What I do know is I am still — despite some hurdles I’ve tripped over — so pleased to have been invited to come here. While temporary, this is my home now, and I love being a part of it. When I do return to my country and my family I will miss what I have here (while also being so flipping happy to be back amongst my loved ones). I cannot worry about what I cannot control, but I am being careful. I am so sorry this thing exists, and I am afraid of it, but I can’t let it overshadow the good I have found here. Soooooo, I guess in one very long ramble I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve managed to blend my love of choice with Inshallah. If only our worlds could blend so easily. Ha, and as if on cue the call to prayer just started. I may not be Muslim, but it warms my heart every time I hear it.