I did not know what to expect when it came to our new temporary home. All I knew that we were to be living with someone, a stranger no less, in this strange land. Albeit familiar because of all images ingrained into my mind by the gazillion of hours of Hollywood movies and American television I’ve consumed in my not so long lifetime, the US still is a new place. Surely, a stark contrast to our original (and always) home country: the Philippines, and our more recent expat country base: Dubai.
Instead of the monotonous desert and concrete landscape, we were greeted with the freshness of greenery: luscious, thick, dense, swaying to the delicate pine-scented breeze. Instead of the slutty red Ferraris, the sunshine yellow Lamborghinis, and the occasional fuchsia Mustangs driven by dish dash garbed Emiratis and the ubiquitous white Toyota pick up trucks driven by “pajama” garbed Pakistanis on the highway, we were flanked by mammoth American pick ups and Optimus Prime trucks, which drove at super car speeds down the interstate. Instead of rapid fire Arabic and sing-songy Hindi or Urdu ur Malayalam (South Asian dialects) filling our ears, we were treated to, not English, but fiery Spanish / Mexican, warbly Korean and clucky Vietnamese.