Wry Exchange

Finally, Funny Searches
05-31-08, 2:20 pm
Filed under: Home | Tags: ,
….or maybe they’re just funny to me.  I DID fall out of bed-on my husband’s side’ and hit my head on the edge of the nightstand.  I have a lump on the side of my head longer than my ear.   Anyway, my favorite this time is: Amish webring!
 my use exchange student (used?), tongue stud tonsillitis (quite a stretch to combine), youtube salsa recipe, foreign exchange body spray (smells like beer and b.o.), exsessive mood swings and cheating spouse ( may be related?), sex with my exchange student, have-to-wear uniform host-family (maid’s uniform?), easy sex with exchange student (shocking!), morning tongue, chipmunks with weapons (tiny nunchucks?), homesick going on international exchange (perhaps not the best idea to go then), extreme anger after my husband cheated (well, duh), 43 things exchange student (not 45), u wanna be a spy, foreign exchange ate heathrow airport (they do eat a lot), accidentally flashing during interview (it either went really well or really bad), foreign exchange studenting, i’ve been cheated but i still love him (get counselling), latex burkhas (gross),  and several “kipling bag cleaning?”-I throw mine in the washing machine and line dry.

Post Completed
05-29-08, 11:41 am
Filed under: Exchange Students | Tags:

Reverse culture shock for host parents is finally up. 

.funny dog pictures
see more dog pictures”


View From The Veil
05-27-08, 7:36 pm
Filed under: Culture | Tags:

 Three different viewpoints of veiled life by American women bloggers.

Stilettos in the Sand is written by an expat living in a Western-style compound in Saudi Arabia.  She doesn’t have to cover up in the compound, and was told Western women didn’t have to wear an abaya before she moved.  “They” lied to her.  I enjoy reading about her life in the ‘sandbox’ with her husband and two large dogs.  A sample Really, going to the clinic is like an organized sport of some sort – with a list of rules that are somewhat baffling – especially to a newcomer [which, thankfully, I am not, anymore]. First there is the hunt for a parking space – it’s a huge parking lot. Huge. But every single space is filled – and then some – because all of those pesky yellow lines which are painted to show where a vehicle should be parked only apply to everyone else. “You,” as a “local,” are entitled to park anywhere you want – double park – block an entry or exit – that’s fine for you. Park on the sidewalk – that curbing that’s been placed there is no deterrent whatsoever – just hop up on over it. So just finding a parking space becomes the first quarter of this game called “going to the clinic,” with no referee or umpire to call “safe” when you’ve got your parking place in your sights and are ready to ease your vehicle into it – when WHOOOSH – someone else overtakes you and screeches around you to get their vehicle into the spot first. Quite a game, really, and deft skill is required so that your vehicle – no matter how big it is – doesn’t get totaled in the process. So, here I am, poor little me, without my DH as my guardian to accompany me to the clinic because he is working and it would be totally unacceptable for a Westerner to call his supervisor and say, “I won’t be in to work today because I’m taking my female dependent property to seek medical attention” playing the first quarter of this game and not winning, I might add. I end up parking what seems like a good half mile or so from the clinic. Oh – forgot to add that the last part of the quarter of this little game is to try to navigate the parking lots / sidewalks and other pedestrian areas without being hit by oncoming traffic. I finally make it to the clinic… End of first quarter. She lives in a whole different world.

tabarakallah at wordpress.com-She is an muslim who completely covers herself, and her 14 year old daughter.  She lived in a muslim country for three years, and longs to return. She doesn’t seem to like America or the people here.  She wants her husband to take a second wife as soon as they can afford it.   A sampling of her views on polygamy: It is the man’s nature to be polygynous. It is a challenge for him to juggle the responsibilities of more than one household, more than one relationship. Kinda like being a CEO. If you are good at business, why only own one. Or a gardener, he tills his soil and plants the seed and admires his yield, why plant only one variety? Does the love of roses diminish ones love of daisies?  Um, yeah.

latexlifestyle at blogspot.com-She is living abroad, and covers up because she has rubber and submissive fetishes.  She completely covers with latex including gloves and hoods.  She wears a white latex burkha over several layers of latex/rubber when she leaves the house.  This blog fascinated me in a creepy way.   A sample-That evening at dinner we ate at a restaurant inside an old bank vault with some colleagues of Sir. It is always interesting when I am introduced to colleagues of his as they typically don’t know what to say or do. I always offer a rubber gloved hand for shaking (or kissing as a few of the men do) and then seat myself to Sir’s left. On occassion, i am able to sit on the floor or kneel next to him which i truly prefer to do…the reaction from some of his stodgy colleagues is precious. That evening at dinner I was allowed to kneel next to him…most fun.  Reactions from women are also intriguing since many are shocked and some offended by public displays of servitude.   I actually enjoy kneeling next to Sir for an hour or two chatting with the wife of one of his colleagues about Ireland, sewing, teaching, the latest books, whatever, while nibbling on my dinner under the cover of rubber.  I don’t know what I’d do if some woman knelt on the floor and expected me not to notice.

See here for a visual glossary of clothing items including abaya, burkha, chador, hijab, and niqab.

Collies, Alpacas, & Goats, Oh My
05-26-08, 6:00 pm
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 Today was one of those days where it’s great to live in Smalltown, USA.   Husband helped judge the children’s bike decorating contest.  I brought the dogs, and we all walked in the Memorial Day parade.   The dogs wore jaunty patriotic scarves, and BadLab still is wearing his.  When I take it off, he dips his head like he does when I put his leash on.  He feels pretty, I think. 
There was an alpaca family near us before the parade started.  The alpacas were adorable!  They had short hair, so they looked like giraffes or long stemmed flowers.  BadLab and a baby alpaca spotted each other at the same time.  They were about the same size, and looked alike except for the super long neck.  I know they were each thinking “What a funny looking lab/alpaca!”
We walked behind the bikes, and in front of the goats and collies.  The goats were with the 4H kids, and the Girl Scouts had dogs.  Husband saw a woman with a duckling following her.   Also in the parade was the high school band, along with tractors, fire trucks, old Army Jeeps, politicians, classic cars, everything but a Homecoming Queen!

Blog Tour-8-Scent
05-26-08, 12:26 am
Filed under: Culture, Home | Tags:

 This week’s women’s blog group topic is “What’s your favourite smell in the world and why?”   I don’t have a ‘favorite smell’ and I like certain smells cause they smell good to me.  No introspection today.

First, off topic-Want to drive yourself crazy? Explain the differences between ‘scent,’ ‘smell,’ and ‘odor’ to a group of exchange students.  Don’t even bring ‘aroma’ or ‘fragrance’ into the discussion.

I like the following smells:

  • Freshly bathed dogs
  • Stinky doggy paws
  • Tomatos when their stems are pulled off.  Demeter makes a fantastic tomato cologne. 
  • “Fishit” The smell of the ocean or large lake-fish shit.
  • From long ago-the scent of ditto ink.
  • The great smoky smell of asado and churrasco beef.
  • Ozone right before it rains.
  • Lime Mint.  We have it growing next to the house, and it smells fantastic.  Husband enjoys it in fresh mojitos.
  • I found pea pod liquid soap at TJMaxx that I buy again and again.  Who knew pea pods had a yummy scent?

These smells give me a headache:  new tires, coffee, cigars, and Giorgio perfume.

Blog Tour 7-Job
05-25-08, 12:40 am
Filed under: Exchange Students | Tags:

 This week’s topic from the women’s blog group is “What is your dream job, and if you don’t/didn’t have it, how did that happen?”  I enjoy my widgets, but it’s impossible to discuss and stay anonymous.

So, this IS my dream job, except for the whole not being paid part.   I am very good at FES-ing, and I love it.   I am lucky to have met so many students from all over the world.  I really enjoy helping them during their exchange experience.  (I’ve stepped back a bit since the clueless people took over, but they’ll move on in a year or so.  We’ll go back to the fabulous program we’ve always been.)

I love this high school foreign exchange program.  Husband says I should switch programs, and get money to do what I love.  He knows it’s not the same.  We don’t respect the big programs that pay student coordinators.   They don’t put the students first, ask any of the kids.  They’re just dumped off in a foreign country.  I do something with exchange every day, this is much more than a job.  I think it’s one of those things you couldn’t pay someone enough to do, but they are happy to volunteer the time.

 I’m proud of our program, and most of the volunteers who work it.  I’m really proud of all the kids who are brave enough to move half a world away as teens.  Husband and I believe we’re making the world a better place by creating bonds between people from different cultures.  The image is of a Friend Wheel from Facebook.  The wheel owner is in the center, and friends’ names surround the circle.  The lines are all links from friends to each other.   It’s a visual example of the way FES-ing works.  One person touches many lives.

Travel Policy
05-23-08, 12:22 am
Filed under: Inbounds Inbounds | Tags:

More from Ice Cream Boy 20 seconds after he sent me his flight itinerary for an 11:30am flight.
Me: I’ll pick you up at 9:00am Saturday.  Be ready.
ICB: Are you taking me to the airport?

 I’m ready to wring his neck.  When our students travel, they have to follow guidelines.  They receive the guidelines before they leave their home countries.   We permit them to travel; many programs don’t permit ANY independant travel during the year.  I think since they’re here, they might as well take advantage and travel as much as possible.  Other programs are more rigid, and feel this is a home-based cultural exchange, not a travel program, and they have no business gallivanting around the country.  ICB received the guidelines upon arrival, and again when he started talking about this trip.  I sent the rules to his hostfamily, too.   This is our travel policy:

Students can not travel outside our area unless with the host family, natural family, past or future host family, Program volunteer, Program-approved adult, school sponsored trip, or Program sponsored trip. Students may go on day trips with friends. Our students may travel with their school or host family outside of the US with their natural parents’ notarized approval.

Any travel outside the area without an adult must meet the following conditions:
Travel must be by air (nonstop flight unless none exists). We must know the purpose of the trip, and who will be meeting the student at the airport. We need the name, address and phone number of hosts. Trip must be approved by counselor and by the program.  Students may NOT go by bus or train.  Written authorization from the student’s natural parents with signature, by fax or mail.
These questions are asked annually.  Our answer is “NO, You may NOT go to the ocean with friends after graduation.  You may NOT go with friends on Spring Break to Florida. You may NOT stay overnight with friends at an amusement park.   You may NOT travel the country with a friend from home.  You have to have an approved, adult chaperone.  If you have to ask, “How old does a family member have to be to be considered an adult?” he or she is not old enough.”

ICB wanted to take a second FES with him as chaperone so he wasn’t travelling alone.  They planned to walk around New York City on their own for a week.  He asked me for a bus schedule.  He tried to buy his airline ticket without receiving permission from me or his natural parents and without seeing if someone could take him to the airport.  And on and on.  He is being totally arrogant about this trip; it’s surprising because he’s been so sweet all year.  End-of-the-year-itis has infected him.  Husband had a chat with him earlier this week.  Husband hasn’t made anyone cry this year (first time ever!) but “his eyes were glistened.” 

I think at this point we’re letting him go mostly because his hostbrother is graduating this weekend with a big house party, and it gets Attitude Boy  ICB out of the way.