Due to the popularity of the Top Ten TCK Quirks, I decided to make a part 2! Enjoy:
1. Our tolerance threshold is higher than most people
Remember that time your parents took you to see Komodo dragons on a tiny island in Indonesia and you had to sleep on the floor of a concrete building with rats running over your face? Yeah, I was seven years old.
|TCK childhoods: Dodging gigantic flesh eating insects since we were in diapers (gif credit Eric Linn)|
Most adult travelers have crazy ridiculous stories of uncomfortable living conditions, but we started those when we were toddlers. As a result you can throw us anywhere and we will make do, even if we are in cockroach/rat/lice infested territory.
2. Our willingness to experiment with peculiar foods
We have grown up in a variety of places with a variety of very distinct culinary tastes. If you were picky, then you were rude. The last thing your parents would allow was rudeness in a foreign culture. Therefore, you learned to eat anything and everything.
|Ignore the outrageous stereotype of this gif|
|Most people's reactions|
3. Our ability to pack on a moment's notice
We never knew when our parents' would decide to drag us off to go hiking or snorkeling or exploring some sort of Temple of Doom. Once you are overseas, it is easier to travel around for short weekend trips and so we learned how to pack quickly and with maximum flexibility.
4. Being unfazed by a ridiculously convoluted flight schedule
Flights can be pretty hectic and international flights doubly so. From the time we were in diapers we could navigate the most insane flight schedule including gate changes, delays, and cancellations. We know all the tricks to sweet talk our way onto another flight ahead of the rest of the pack.
|The rest of the pack|
5. Our rooms and apartments look like a flea market exploded
When you move around a ton, you tend to pick up a lot of stuff. It doesn't matter that your parents made you put most of your belongings in storage during each pack-up phase; you can't help having accumulated a curio shop's worth of souvenirs from every place you ever lived. We then take those once forgotten dusty objects and sprinkle them around our dorm room or apartment leaving us with no need to trouble IKEA or Pottery Barn for generic decorations.
6. Our film and music tastes are very diverse
If you are exposed to a variety of sights, smells, and sounds from an early age, then your tastes are bound to be influenced by your upbringing. TCKs tend to have a wider knowledge of foreign language films and music, so do not be alarmed when you check out our playlists/netflix queues.
|You're welcome world: YATTA youtube|
7. Comfort food
You have five or more types of comfort food, all from different countries. Depending on where you are and what you are going through, you will be craving one or more impossible dishes that only exist in one place in the world. Good luck.
|Sadly, the food never magically appears in your fridge to your great disappointment|
8. You have a pet that is more traveled than most people
At one point your parents decided that you needed some point of stability in your otherwise unstable life, so they got you a pet. This dog/cat/parrot/reptile would go on to follow you to every subsequent assignment. These animals never understood how they could go from frolicking in wine country in France to exploring cow dung in North India to creating sand angels on the beaches in the Philippines. Ignorance is bliss to the happy animal and you could not have asked for a better companion.
|They approached each new assignment with the enthusiasm of this duck|
9. You have been in the care of an ayah at some point in your life
Early on your parents no doubt discovered the joys of inexpensive household help that is usually available overseas. Off you went into the loving arms of an ayah (nursemaid) who most likely taught you her/his native tongue. They were like another parent and you are still grateful for how well they cared for you.
10. You have been called different terms of endearment in different countries
Beta/Beti (Hindi), Jei Jei/Ge Ge, Mei Mei/Di Di (Mandarin), Mui Mui/Dai Dai, Jeh Jeh/Gau Gau (Cantonese), etc. At some point, either visiting a friend's house or at a social function with your parents, people have called you a term of endearment that you just learned to roll with. Just like you learned how everyone (EVERYONE) is an Auntie or an Uncle; it never mattered that they were not actually related to you or that you just met them.
|Saying an awkward hi to someone you just met at an official function but your parents insist you've known for ages|
I hope you enjoyed part 2. Let me know if you have any suggestions in the comments and check out my Tumblr page for some TCK and expat gifs: Unsettled TCK Tumblr