I have been reflecting this week on things that I once considered to be different, strange or wrong are now very much part of my normal way of life. I certainly have adjusted my measure of normal in the last 3 years. In saying that there are still lots and lots (and lots and lots) of things that are still fairly and squarely in the different, strange and I hate to say it but wrong category.
Here’s a small selection of some of my new norms!
I now eat every meal with a spoon or my fingers. I have become very adapt at ripping off a small piece of bread, forming it into a scoop and using it to eat from a communal dish.
Even though we own a table I automatically set up our meal on the floor and am more than comfortable sitting cross legged on the floor to eat.
Like with the eating, during the day I tend to gravitate to the mattress style on the ground Arabic seating rather than the couches to sit.
Unsalted butter is delicious, especially spread on taboon bread fresh out of hot coals. I remember that I used to sprinkle salt over the top of butter spread on bread when I first moved to Jordan. In saying this there is the golden rule of buying butter that I had to teach Atef! We don’t buy butter from countries that don’t have cows (or a serious dairy industry!) Butter from Egypt and Saudi Arabia – no! Butter from France, Denmark – yes!
Cutting up and preparing chicken that is still warm because it’s just been killed no longer grosses me out. I used to have a hard time not equating warm chicken to getting food poisoning.
I didn’t used to like the taste of highly processed spreadable cheese ( I used to call it “fake cheese”) but now eat spreadable cheese triangles on a regularly basis.
An abaya is a very comfortable and efficient outfit to wear. I can throw it on over the top of my house clothes and be going out ready in under 2 minutes. Very useful when I usually don’t get much forewarning that we need to go somewhere and I need to also get a 1 year old ready.
Telephone calls at 11pm no longer make my heart race. It’s completely acceptable to ring someone until 1am.
And perhaps the most amazing new normal thing for me is I can make a packet of mint slice biscuits last for over a month!