You never realize how similar we all are until you are different.
My whole life I’ve been an outsider, even in both of my passport countries. As TCKs, it is a luxury and a curse.
However, I have never felt more like an outsider than in Morocco. In Japan I am recognized as “half”. In the United States I speak perfect English. In Thailand I was Asian and could use chopsticks properly. In Spain I am often confused as one of their own because of my long dark hair.
Not in Morocco. I am different in any and all aspects- hair, dress, skin colour, language, religion, mannerisms, and values.
I have never felt more out of place, and even though people usually stare wherever I go, I felt as though it was enhanced because of the lack of tourism and foreigners there in comparison to more developed countries. That being said, I connected with people regardless. I spent 3 nights with a Moroccan mother who did not speak one word of English, and I not a word of Arabic. Despite the differences she was so kind and took me under her wing. Smiles, grateful eyes, and charades go a long way. It didn’t matter our differences because we both realized that we wanted to learn about the others’ culture and nothing mattered as long as we were good people.
Intercommunication at its finest.
So the next time you judge a book by its cover, take a minute and realize that we all have two eyes, a nose and a mouth.