The official sociological term for us is “Third-Culture Kids,” people raised in a country and culture that is different from that of their parents. According to Wikipedia, 90% of us feel out of sync with our peers, our divorce rates are historically lower, we get married later in life, and 80% of us feel like we can get along with anyone. While I don’t know much about this, here are a few things I do know about being raised overseas:
1. I learned valuable life skills long before I should have.
I’m fairly sure I learned to drive around age 7. And the dietary needs of scorpions in captivity soon after.
2. The TB arm scar is both disgusting and awesome.
A dime-sized dent in my shoulder, makes me recognizable as someone born 3rd-world style. In America, it’s kind of like a calling card to a secret club. I’ve been approached by two people in my time here, and asked where I grew up after noticing my ugly arm hole. I have to imagine that people with bigger, nastier, even more noticeable scars get asked this question more often. Also, people like to poke it and it’s a fun conversation piece.
3. I don’t have to [probably shouldn’t] give blood.
The list of Mad Cow-infested countries is long and boring. I just assume I have been to one of them and/or had a childhood friend from one that might have infected me.
4. My “rough” stories might top yours.
Your dog ran away when you were 5? During the Gulf War my dad used to send my terrier, Rocky, outside after Iraqi air strikes to test for chemical weapons.
5. I can never be President. Thank God.