Bill Cosby has spent a lifetime entertaining millions of people by finding the funny in ordinary situations. Whether he was describing the challenges of parenting small children, the dreadfulness of visiting the dentist or the inspiration of chocolate cake for breakfast, Bill Cosby made the world laugh by finding the humor in the mundane details of life. Living away from our home cultures doesn’t mean that we escape the banality of everyday life, rather we experience it exponentially. Who hasn’t struggled to find new foods that the family will enjoy day after day? Really, rice for each meal, all day long? Who hasn’t had a less than pleasant experience with a local medical practitioner? So, my child has been throwing up for three days because he slept with the fan blowing on him? These basic routines of life can become so overwhelming that it is easy to become irritable and annoyed at the people and the culture around us. But most of the time, a funny can be found that will turn the situation around.
Like when the internet is slow and your daughter says, “Mom, we don’t have wi-fi, we have wi-die,” she has found the funny.
Like when your son’s description to his grandparents of the traffic in your city as a cross between a video game and pinball game, he has found the funny.
Like when the power outages come far too frequently and for far too many hours during the long hot months, but you boast to your friend that your solar dryer (aka clothes line) is working just fine, you have found the funny.
Many of the tips this month were birthed from the typical struggles of learning to live in a new culture, but rather than exploding in frustration the writers found the funny and adapted to life in a new land. Remember the power hand of driving? The heroics of a husband’s midnight defense against a toilet dwelling rat? Two weeks to pay a handful of monthly bills? Keeping your pregnant belly well-covered to prevent well-meaning locals from becoming too close of friends? Finding the funny can make a difficult experience tolerable, and if you are not careful, enjoyable.
So the next time you are driving and the light looks like this —
Don’t stress out – find the funny.
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this series! Which tip(s) did you relate to the most? What are some ways you’ve “found the funny” in your experiences as an expat? Take a moment to share in the comments section 🙂