Sunday, April 21, 2013

cold weather

On Thursday, I met up with Nasser over a nice cup of warm coffee. We were able to catch up on our weeks and talk about finals and all of our piles of homework. It was a cold day, and Nasser was wrapped up in a big 'ol winter coat, telling me how much he loves the cold.

I think he's crazy, I am so ready for the warm weather! Nasser was telling me about all of the compilations involved in him flying back home to Saudi Arabia and then to Europe; there is a lot of paper work and visa information to deal with! This weekend he was planning on driving to Houston in order to go the National Embassy (if he explained that right?) to get all of his visa paperwork in order.

Nasser asked me where he could get a passport photo taken, to use for his visa. I told him to go to CVS or Walgreens and they can do it for a very low price! He was so confused!

"Why would you get a passport photo taken at a Pharmacy?"

Valid point... but I tried to explain to him that a CVS or Walgreens serves the purpose of a convenience store, in a way. I suppose I had never really considered that they originally served the purpose of a pharmacy, and yet you can buy basically anything you need there, quick.

Nasser made another valid point, that I had also never considered. If a pharmacy is intended to help people get better from either a sickness, cold, etc., then why would they sell cigarettes and beer and wine? Isn't that counterintuitive. Yes..yes, it is. But hey, it's the American way? I really didn't know how to justify it, primarily because I had never really thought about it in that way.

As Nasser and I wrapped up our semester of numerous conversations, he told me how much he enjoyed talking to an American and getting to know more about my culture through our conversations. I told him how I, too, enjoyed our conversations and that they really opened my eyes to some of the not-so-normal traditions and routines that we as Americans deem normal.

These conversations served as a catalyst to new ways of thinking and viewing my own lifestyle, in addition to the exposure of humor I have obtained in the class. While Nasser and I discussed each of our own countries culture and traditions, I not only became more exposed to the culture of Saudi Arabia, but I came to find a new sense of pride and love for my own country and its culture, despite how odd some of them may be.

As we parted ways, Nasser took one more step towards being closer to his journey back to home, and I took one more step towards a greater understanding of myself, my own culture, and my country.

until our next laugh,


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