It isn’t difficult for me to get caught up in my life here in zed and forget that I’m in another country. I mean, yes, the demographics are WIDELY different than what I would find in downtown Houston, Dallas, or New Orleans…I just don’t think to myself every second of the day, “You’re in another country.”


And unlike living in South Africa or visiting Guatemala, the differences aren’t pronounced enough to shout that for me. There are no roosters in duet with donkeys at all hours of the day and night, there is no corn growing in my backyard, and my shower is actually a shower and has hot water.


Even so, zed does remind me in little ways that “I’m not in Kansas anymore.”


For instance, yesterday on the shuttle from work the driver seemed to relish in the idea that we had no front brakes. Hear me now…I don’t mean it was time to get them checked or they were starting to give…I mean they had gone out earlier that day. There was nothing left of them. And yet, we still drove along, him braking with the emergency brake and continually marvelling – out loud – that we had no brakes but that we shouldn’t worry…oncoming traffic be damned.


Another reminder happened a few days ago when I went to the doctor. I had some routine tests run and when the doctor was finished with me she handed me my labs and told me to make sure I drop them off right now.


Let me be clear here. I don’t mean she handed me paper. I do not mean she nudged me to walk down a hall and hand them to a nurse. She handed me my labs, in a plastic bag, and directed me to walk them down the stairs, through the university, up symmonds street and to the medical lab near my house. That just wouldn’t happen at home.

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