5 Things You Just Have to Get Used to in Algeria

Salaam y’all! Today’s post is a little fun post, which doesn’t actually have much to do with convert things or Islam, as it were. I wrote this ages ago (long before my recent trip to the U.K.); just some funny things I was reflecting on since I have been here in Algeria. Anyone have any similar experiences when living abroad for the first time?

  1. Buying things in odd quantities:

This usually means in excess or not nearly enough. Like, juice and fizzy drinks are sold in palettes of 6 1.5 litre bottles, but when I need tracing paper to make embroidery transfers I have to buy it in individual sheets…

  1. Other cars being just centimetres away from your car…all the time, everywhere.

People here love, love, love to not only park wherever and whenever they please, but also to drive on a single lane road like it is three lanes. So you are pretty much sitting in your car muttering “omg, that was close,” for the entire duration of your journey.

  1. Prices for everything being in the 1000’s:

So one pound sterling is around 200 Algerian dinars, if that gives you any idea of what the currency looks like here. I still have thoughts like, oh my goodness, I am not paying 3,800 for one jilbab set! But then I realise that when I convert my pounds that is only like £19 for one pretty decent quality jilbab set. So yeah, not so much of an issue.

  1. Only understanding about 65% of the world around me:

And that is when I am paying close attention and listening very hard. Between French and Arabic, I can get a good gist, but I am never 100% in on what’s going on. And if I’m not actually trying I don’t get much of anything, which can sometimes actually be a blessing-no unintentional eavesdropping for me!

  1. Squat toilets:

Or more politely put: “Arabic toilets.” At any rate, that’s what the in-laws have in their house, and that is what you will find in any mosque, restaurant, or other public toilets. Yeah, ’nuff said about that one…

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