For the record, I am not a Third culture KID! I am WAY too old and my family all lives in NZ and speaks Kiwi.
There is also a phenomenon called Adult Third Culture Kids. You know, when TCK’s grow up. I am not one of these either. I am a 3rdCulture Adult. I am someone who chose to live away from home for an extended period of time and has no idea when she is going to “settle down, get a real job and be serious about her life”.
The lovely people at Buzzfeed.com published a list of “31 Signs You are a Third Culture Kid”.
I can totally relate, so I paraphrased and added my own 5 cents worth. Please read the original article here if you haven’t already.
1.You can swear in a number of languages
Personally, I like to learn “Do you kiss your mother with that mouth” as soon as possible.
2.You change accents depending on who you are speaking to
I also think you change syntax and colloquialisms – I have Singlish (Singapore English) and Tinglish (Thai English) down and definitely speak in a pseudo Italian accent whenever I am telling a joke.
When I worked in Italy, I had one Kiwi colleague called Leanne and one American called Paul. Paul reckoned he understood Leanne and I perfectly – until we were together. Then things got too kiwi and he had to bow out.
3.You use foreign slang in English language sentences
I usually do it on purpose, to be an arse. But some things just don’t translate e.g “shanti shanti”,” mai pben rai”, “motorini”…all these words are emblazoned in their natural language and I couldn’t possibly say “take it calmly”, “no problem” or “scooter”!
4.You can work out time differences
Nah – see below
5.Your computer tells you the time in every country important to you
7 time zones, friends, 7
6.You birthday stretches for days/weeks/a whole month
Not ‘cause you make it or anything, right! Because people send you love from the day before and the day after.
7.Your passport looks like it’s been through hell
Bent and water damaged and often finished before it expires
8.You love and hate “Where are you from?”
It gets a bit complicated, “I am from NZ, but I haven’t lived there for 7 years.”
“Oh, where have you been living?”
*falls on ground to avoid the answer
9.You run into friends from school in strange places
Or, you have no remaining close friends from school, if you happen to be ancient, so you travel days to be with someone for a special occasion.
10.You spend too much time on planes
And plant trees to offset your massive carbon footprint
11.You know how to recover from Jet Lag
I use the 3 punch combo – Melatonin, herbal Jet Lag tablets and the occasional Xanax
12. You have a different “Counties I have been to” map
As in, you have a shag map that would make the United Nations proud. Tinder uses most of your phone’s internet data.
13.Your friends are also the United Nations
14.You connect with your people on line more than in real life
Get an unlimited data plan, kids!
15.You get all squeely when you catch up with friends
And teary and emo and girlie
16.You know how to avoid offending people of different cultures
And also, therefore, how to totally offend them
17.You get nervous when asked for a permanent address
Mine is my family home which I haven’t lived in for 7 years. What am I going to say, “My backpack”?
18.You know McD’s tastes different in different places.
Disagree – the menu might change (Miso soup anyone?) but it’s still crap and an environmental and nutritional wasteland. I use the toilets if I am desperate.
19.You are a food snob
Add wine and vodka snob to this and you are getting close
20.You convert to two currencies before buying anything
Sure do – at the moment it is NZD and THB
21.You call ‘home” your ‘passport country”
Wank on. I’d punch anyone who said that to me
22. You sing songs in languages you don’t speak
On top of butchering the ones in the language you do speak. Watchthis and laff ya guts out
23. Viber and Whatsapp are your best friends (apart from Tinder)
You have the life threatening dilemma of whether to change your number on them or not. Will you lose your message. Your numbers??
24. You are the exotic one at parties
At least that is my aim
25. You know schooling international schooling systems
26. People leave all the time
27. And it is shit. You cry all the time saying goodbyes.
28. Then someone new comes, who turns out to be super cool. Then they leave too.
Always be the one to leave – it’s heaps easier
29. You have friends everywhere
(free accommodation…that is what I am sayin’)
30. Home is where ever you make it
Where ever your bag gets unpacked and there are good people
31. You have no idea what happens next
Absolutely none. And it doesn’t matter.
Do you relate? Maybe you are a 3rd Culture Adult too. If so, share this blog, get in contact and we’ll have a beer sometime.