MY OUTRAGEOUS EXPAT LIFE: TRUTHS AND LIES

by missfootloose on March 13, 2010 · 14 comments

in adventure, Culture and Customs, Expat life

My expat life is a crazy quilt of odd bits and pieces. Below is a list of scraps, some part of the quilt, others not. The links are to photos that might further enlighten and entertain you.

1. I was switched at birth in my native HOLLAND, aka THE NETHERLANDS.

2. I love cow foot soup, the national dish of ARMENIA.

3. My first baby was born in GHANA, delivered by an African doctor wearing rubber boots and a butcher apron.

4. I’m a pretty good belly dancer. Learned it while living in PALESTINE. Photo by tanakawho / cc

5. I speak seven languages, learned while living in various places in the WORLD.

6. I’m a right-wing Republican and I think Sarah Palin is cool and should be the next American President. I learned to be wise like that while living in the USA. (Have dual citizenship.)

7. In Amman, JORDAN, I was invited to sit in Queen Noor’s chair and I did.

So why am I telling you all this about myself? Like you care if I was switched at birth?

Well, my blogger buddy at This Cat’s Abroad did me the favor (thank you!) of giving me this really ugly nice reward and I was told that the price I have to pay for showing it off is to list six outrageous lies about myself and one amazing truth.

Or the reverse. Well, I didn’t. The list above is a mix of truths and lies. You figure it out! (Okay, scroll down and the truth shall be revealed.)

Unfortunately, I have to pass this thing on to seven of you bloggers and you’re gonna hate me for it if you’re one of them. Because you’ll think I think you’re a liar and not a creative writer and you’ll be offended and never read my blog again and then what am I gonna to do?

Then again, maybe you’re a bit off-center and you’re dying to post seven outrageous lies or truths about yourself. But I don’t know who you are, do I?

So, the solution to my problem is this: If you feel worthy of this award, take it! You can tell me by leaving a comment and I’ll post your link. First come first serve – 7 of you.

And to get back to This Cat’s Abroad, let me tell you she’s been around and right now she’s living in IRAQ, having recently moved there from TURKEY. Man, she’s brave! Her posts about her expat life experiences are often hilarious as well as insightful, so check her out.

And now the truth about me shall be told. Here are my statements – true or false?

1. True. I was switched at birth. On day two or three in the maternity clinic I was bathed, then dressed in another baby’s clothes, put in a crib with another baby’s name, later put in the arms of another baby’s mother: A Dutch farmer’s wife.

My mother was given the farmer’s wife’s baby. She did not recognize it as being me. She recognized me as cradled in the arms of the farmer’s wife. To make a long story short, my mother went berserk, until the farmer’s wife shrugged her shoulders and handed me over to my mother, saying she couldn’t tell the difference (I kid you not, true). No identification bracelets in those days. No DNA to check it out, either.

Just think! I could have lived on a farm and been a Dutch milkmaid! Maybe I could have been famous too!

De melkmeid, Vermeer

2. I love cow foot soup? False. Very false. Armenian cow foot soup is, let’s say, an acquired taste, and I did not acquire it. (Sorry, Anna, Annahit, Ruzan, Gohar, Vahe, Aram, Armen and all my other Armenian friends 😉

3. My first baby was delivered by a Ghanaian doctor wearing rubber boots and a butcher’s apron. True! My mate is forever to blame for not taking a picture. And talking about my not having an identification bracelet when I was born, my baby didn’t have one either. But she was not switched. I know this for sure because she was the only white baby in the clinic. Which was, to reassure you, a brand-new, well-equipped facility and the Ghanaian doctor was an excellent physician with impressive British initials after his name.

4. Me, a belly dancer? I wish! My man wishes!

5. And the outrageous lies go on: I speak seven languages? Please! All I can claim is two: Dutch and English. I can mess around in German, but it’s shamefully bad. I can manage to eat, sleep and drink wine in French and I know a few words and lines in others. Such as cho iko wapi. Which is Swahili for Where’s the bathroom/toilet. Usually the first sentence I learn in any language I encounter.

6. Miss Footloose, a Republican? A Sarah Palin fan? You didn’t really believe that, did you? You did? Oh, my God.

7. I sat in Queen Noor’s chair. True! And my prince sat in King Hussein’s chair. In the King Abdullah Mosque in Amman. First we were shown the main men’s prayer room (me in borrowed black robe and white scarf for modesty’s sake) and then (after I sheddded the coverings) the guard took us very secretly to the private royal prayer room, against the rules (he whispered). He suggested we sit in the royal seats and he’d take a picture with my camera. We were very privileged, we knew, to have this opportunity. No other tourists were ever so lucky, I’m sure. Needless to say we tipped him generously. (Do forgive the dowdy clothes; I knew we were going to visit the mosque and tried to be respectful. Usually I’m dressed in mini skirts and showing cleavage, as all my friends know.)

I was honored with two more awards recently, but I’m all worn out from telling lies, so they’ll just have to wait to be properly claimed. But I do want to thank the generous donors here:


Now this is beautiful! Thank you Truestarr from Prospero’s Cellphone.

Truestarr lives on the lovely Greek island of Corfu. Her
blog offers “A slightly demented yet oddly positive perspective of Greek life from an expat American/Irish point of view.”

And this Kreativ Blogger Award comes from Shimp of Land of Shimp who has a kreativ way with words and entertains me with fun as well as touching stories on her blog. Thank you Shimp!

* * *
And now, dear readers, lie to me! Or tell the truth, if you prefer. Tell me something outrageous, something unbelievable or fascinating about your life. Come on, ‘fess up!

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Teri March 12, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Fun! Gave me a good laugh as I instantly recognized your kiswahili! Important stuff to know!

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planetnomad March 12, 2010 at 10:02 pm

Please don’t tell me about any more fun expat blogs!! I am already only keeping up with my feedreader by neglecting important household chores as it is!

PS I do care that you were switched a birth! What an interesting story.

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Sandy March 13, 2010 at 3:56 pm

First of all, I believed them all! Why not? Your mother went berzerk! I loved that visual (my apologies to your mother).

My son-in-law is 1/2 Armenian. I’ll have to ask her if she likes cow’s foot soup.

This was very interesting.

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Patty March 13, 2010 at 9:13 pm

That’s a beautiful picture, so bright and full of action! Wow number 1 is scary! I can’t imagine accidentally taking someone else’s child home.

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Mary Witzl March 14, 2010 at 8:21 pm

W.h.e.w. I’m so relieved about the Republican/Sarah Palin thing, I don’t care what else is true or false!

Your story of being switched at birth is incredible. My first daughter was born in Wales and was the only Caucasian baby in the hospital with a full head of hair (courtesy of Iroquois blood); my second baby was born in Tokyo and was both the only Caucasian and the largest baby in the hospital. No one could have possibly switched either, but no one would have wanted to.

I was pretty sure you didn’t like cow’s foot soup, but you caught me with the seven languages and belly dancing lies.

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Mary and Sean March 15, 2010 at 10:50 pm

Hilarious post! I have to admit I was thrilled about all the lies possibly being truths, but scared (to the core) of the Sarah Palin one!

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Nancy March 16, 2010 at 9:05 pm

What a fun post! I think I’ll pass on the soup, but I was really hoping you were a belly dancer – living vicariously and all..

Amazing about the switched at birth thing, wow!

I would love to do this, but I’m heading out in just a few hours. I’ll be with my two-year-old grandson, and posting is sporadic at best!

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LadyFi March 18, 2010 at 7:16 am

I guessed that you sat in Queen Noor’s throne… but had no idea you had been switched temporarily at birth. (How frightening for your mum!)

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♥ Braja March 19, 2010 at 3:52 pm

I did this once and loved it; I’m going to have to dig it up :))

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Brenda March 21, 2010 at 5:43 am

That was a cute post. But I caught your lie about being a republican right away, most right wingers don’t go around bragging about it 🙂

I’ve had Peruvian calf foot soup that I rather enjoyed, but I don’t know about your version.

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Judith van Praag March 25, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Note to self, change to Expat Lane for lol and LOL and to remind myself to make fun of grrrhhh situations. A schoolmate in Friesland came from a family of 21 children, no, not 12, twenty-one. He missed part of a thumb, and I used to think that had something to do with his mother running out of jazz.

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Miss Footloose March 26, 2010 at 11:56 am

@ Teri, hi fellow traveler, nice to meet you. Yes, it’s always good to know where to find the facilities, although in some places, you’d better off behind a bush!

@ Planetnomad: It’s a tough world out there, isn’t it? But good reads and good laughs are like food, sleep and water!

@ Sandy, let me know if she likes cow feet soup. It’s not only the food, but the vodka and the party that goes with it that makes eating it a cultural experience 😉

@ Patty, I love that picture too. Unfortunately, credit is not mine!

@ Mary Witzl, glad you are relieved 😉 and isn’t it an interesting experience having a baby in another country!

@ Mary and Sean, I thought it might be fun to throw in the Sarah Palin one 😉

@ Nancy, I really wish I could belly dance! It can be so sexy and beautiful, and it’s good exercise. What a combination!

@ Lady Fi, yes the baby switching is quite a story, but what if my mother was wrong?! What if I am no who I am, but somebody else?!

@ Braja, I’d love to see some truths and lies about you and your life!

@ Brenda, yeah, that Palin lie I wasn’t too eager to be thought of as being the truth 😉 I’ll see if I can find a recipe for Armenian cow foot soup — it’s very involved and takes days to get the cow feet ready . . .

@ Judith van Praag, sounds like you have some unbelievable stories as well. Nice to find you here, fellow Dutchie!

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Cindy April 1, 2010 at 4:35 am

You crack me up. I was raised by Polar Bears in Montana.

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kate June 3, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Phew I’m so glad the Sarah Palin bit was a lie! I was just thinking oh no I sent a comment to this right wing republican – I’ll have to stop reading her posts. then I tried to stretch my tolerance levels to see if perhaps you couyld still be an ok person to read about….sometimes…
So very glad1 Kate

Sorry to be writing so late to these posts _ I am catching up!

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