Posted by: Who-sane | May 17, 2007

Expat Blues: Homesick, Nostalgic, Expatriates

On Homesickness and Nostalgia

How many of us couldn’t wait to get the hell out of Jordan? But what happened when we did? We couldn’t wait to go back there. How many of us bitched about how things work in Jordan? How many of us bitched about taxi drivers? (ALL of us I’d guarantee you that).

But I’d also guarantee you that you’d love it if you got in a taxi cab in New York and it turns out that the driver is Jordanian! I bet you’ll even invite him over to your house, to reminisce about mansaf and other things only you two would relate to.

I ache for a reminder of home, even the smallest things triggers homesickness. The other day I heard the VERY silly tune of Jordanian oven gas cars, some guy set it as a ringtone, how homesick can that guy be? But even THAT reminded me of good ‘ol Jordan.

I heard an old man coughing the other day and his cough sounded exactly like my late grandfather’s cough. It brought a chilling wave of sweet memories and a warm sense of familiarity.

I wish he’d cough just one more time. I really felt like going up to the old man and ask him “Sir, do you mind coughing again please?”😦

And one day I … OK enough … this is becoming too depressing for me and for you.

So I’m not going to post anymore depressing posts here again … well maybe one or two more🙂 … but I promise I’ll bring in something lighter next time. Having said all that, no one said it better than George Eliot:

Even people whose lives have been made various by learning, sometimes find it hard to keep a fast hold on their habitual views of life, on their faith in the Invisible—nay, on the sense that their past joys and sorrows are a real experience, when they are suddenly transported to a new land, where by beings around them know nothing of their history, and share none of their ideas—where their mother earth shows another lap, and human life has other forms than those on which their souls have been nourished. Minds that have been unhinged from their old faith and love, have perhaps sought this Lethean influence of exile, in which the past becomes dreamy because its symbols have all vanished, and the present too is dreamy because it is linked with no memories.

Here’s to home!


  1. Wow whosane😦.

    Everything around me triggers home-sickness; this is why I love blogging because it’s my only link to home, my true home.

    Bas 3anjad guys bikafy cos I am going to cry😥, one more post like this and you will suffer the consequences……

  2. and “the present too is dreamy because it is linked with no memories” sums it all up…

  3. I remember getting upset every time I had to go and do any sort of official paperwork …. I still don’t feel like doing any of that🙂

    I ALWAYS enjoyed Taxi rides. Listening to their inflated stories .. I loved it…

  4. sometimes I avoid being reminded of home because I get overwhelmed with aches of homesickness..
    Yes, when I was back home, almost everything annoyed me. But it remains home despite the negative aspects in it.. no other place will replace it.. as Mahoud Darwish expresses:

    We love the rose
    But we love wheat more.
    We love the essence of the rose
    But the spike of grain is purer…

    Even though other places may seem alluring to us, home is where the heart is..

  5. So true!! i just love it when I meet someone from Jordan over here! We even became best friends of the Jordanian guy who sold me the car!! Plus, wherever I go I think of someone back home -family or friend- who would enjoy time with me at that moment, at that place!

  6. LOL, the tune of the gas truck as a ring-tone! That is SWEET!

    OK, I’m the wierd American living opposite in Jordan, and I remember one summer hearing the national anthem and busting into tears with emotion. Have you ever done that when you hear the J anthem?🙂

  7. yeah yeah yeah Kinziiii…
    That actually happened to me the first time I heard the calling to prayer. I remember i arrive to AR, and was overwhelmed with registration, and getting transcripts done (i forgot my official transcripts in Jordan and that made me cry really zi was actually very busy so it toook me a weeek to get a chance to visit the local mosque. But when I visited it for the first time, and heard the athan after not hearing it for some time, i just burst into tears and couldn’t stop.. it was just an overwhelming experience

  8. Secretea, that is so sweet!!!

  9. 7aki: khalas no more extremely depressing posts from me, at least not for the next couple of days🙂

    Qwaider: do you remember any good inflated taxi ride conversations? bring ’em on!

    Secretea: that was so beautiful. thanks for posting that

    Nido: I feel you🙂 … we love it because there’s so much you can relate to with that person

    Kinzi: I just remembered something: not one single time did I hear the Jordanian anthem abroad. Now I’m curious to my reaction, but I’m assuming goosebumps, lots and lots of goosebumps … and I think that the Star Spangled banner is just amazing, the lyrics are unparalelled

  10. I would like to see a continuation of the topic

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