A Typical Day of an Expat

I arise in the morning to the sound of a mobile phone alarm as none of the apartment rooms have alarm clocks. Slowly I stir from my single mattress bed with only a sheet needed to be comfortable with the a/c going all night. My ears now more awake than the other senses begin to notice the loud calls of the food merchants wandering the neighborhood trying to find buyers for their fruits and vegetables. The bathroom I have attached to my bedroom does not have hot water, so I use the third, unoccupied room?s bathroom, which requires me to flip a switch each morning to turn on the small hot water heater hanging from the wall. As I snoozed too many times this morning, it was lucky I had left it on from yesterday, which I was told was dangerous because they have a habit of exploding. I shaved, washed up, brushed my teeth with the tap water and made myself a peanut butter sandwich (no jelly by preference) for breakfast. At this point I was already fifteen minutes later than we originally told the driver the night before, but he was patiently waiting outside. My ?flat mate? and I grabbed our bags and descended the three flights of marble stairs. As we land the entry security guard quickly stands, salutes me and wishes me good morning, as he has been doing ever since I begin saying good evening to him on our return. On the outside in this world of service, I feel very important, but internally I still remain to feel like the young man exploring life.
Walking up to the car, the driver quickly takes our bags and opens the door for us, the paper is ready to read on the seat. (On some days it is badly folded showing that the driver has read it that morning. I?m still not sure if he buys it for us, or for himself and then gives it to us as he?s done. I leave it in the car after I?ve read the front section just in case he isn?t finished.) We?re whisked away in a fury of honking and swerving as Yusuf (pronounced Yo! suf) offensively navigates the traffic yelling at pedestrians and other drivers with the touch of his horn. Traffic here is wild with small families riding on a single motorcycle, everyone swerving around each other disagreeing with the painted lines, and busses the size of trains pushing their way through the crowd. We always make good time though even in our tiny Geo Metro size car, as Yusuf seems to have some power over other drivers similar to how small dogs can sometimes intimidate larger ones simply with their bark and courage.
When we arrive at the office, a very large building resembling the shuttle hanger in the movie Armageddon, we are dropped off at the front door and are greeted again by the next set of security. Almost every establishment I have been to has had security. It doesn?t feel like an unsafe place, and to be quite honest I imagine it?s just to show wealth, establishment and to employ people. As we ascend the elevator we arrive to our floor and begin our day of coffee and setup our computers. At this point, I can?t really tell I?m not in an office in the US.

Leave a Reply