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You Know You Are a Third Culture Kid When…

On Mother’s Day, I posted “You Know You’re an Expat Mom When…“, which was inspired by the brilliant list below. It and others like it, have been making the internet rounds for ages, and I wish I knew who the author is, because I’d love to give credit where it’s due. At the bottom of this post I’ve added a few of the variations I’ve come across — feel free to add your own in the comments section.

You know you’re a TCK when…

    You can’t answer the question: “Where are you from?” You speak two (or more) languages but can’t spell in any of them.

    You flew before you could walk.

    You have a passport, but no driver’s license.

    You watch National Geographic specials and recognize someone.

    You run into someone you know at every airport.

    You have a time zone map next to your telephone.

    Your life story uses the phrase “Then we went to…” five times (or six, or seven times…).

    You speak with authority on the quality of airline travel.

    National Geographic makes you homesick.

    You read the international section before the comics.

    You live at school, work in the tropics, and go home for vacation.

    You don’t know where home is.

    You sort your friends by continent.

    Someone brings up the name of a team, and you get the sport wrong.

    You know there is no such thing as an international language.

    Your second major is in a foreign language you already speak.

    You realize it really is a small world, after all.

    You feel that multiple passports would be appropriate.

    You watch a movie set in a foreign country, and you know what the nationals are really saying into the camera.

    Rain on a tile patio – or a corrugated metal roof – is one of the most wonderful sounds in the world.

    You haggle with the checkout clerk for a lower price.

    Your wardrobe can only handle two seasons: wet and dry.

    Your high school memories include those days that school was cancelled due to tear gas, riots, demonstrations, or bomb threats.

    You go to Taco Bell and have to put five packets of hot sauce on your taco.

    You have a name in at least two different languages, and it’s not the same one.

    You think VISA is a document stamped in your passport, and not a plastic card you carry in your wallet.

    You automatically take off your shoes as soon as you get home.

    Your dorm room/apartment/living room looks a little like a museum with all the “exotic” things you have around.

    You won’t eat Uncle Ben’s rice because it doesn’t stick together.

    Half of your phone calls are unintelligible to those around you.

    You go to Pizza Hut or Wendy’s and you wonder why there’s no chili sauce.

    You know the geography of the rest of the world, but you don’t know the geography of your own country.

    You have best friends in 5 different countries.

    You’re spoiled. You know it. You’re VERY spoiled.

Continue reading on I was an expat wife.



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