Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Small Things

A wise man once told me that I should stop to notice the beauty in everything around me. Even the most ordinary things can be special in their own way.

Being introduced to the world of foreign exchange has helped me to realize that. Though at the time I brushed it off as silly and perhaps unnecessary, I remember the day that we picked up the exchange student my family hosted last year. She was fascinated by the houses, and took pictures of the homes of random people. It took me coming to Oman, when I took my own pictures of ordinary buildings, to realize why they were so enticing to her. Exotic things excite us. They draw us in. They fill us with wonder about the people's lives, which we think must be exotic and exciting. 

But I think it's wise to remember that to the people who live there, these exotic things are just parts of ordinary life. To use a common maxim, one man's trash is another man's treasure. While we don't view our homes as trash, they are ordinary and unremarkable. 

Over the past few months, Muscat has ceased to be the shiny new place that I once saw it as. It's no longer foreign to me; I know the streets and buildings and mosques. But I still try to retain just a little bit of that wonder at the existence of everything. It's all a little bit unique, and everything here is remarkable. 

Take, for example, the mountains in Muscat. Nothing grows on them. They are brown, and not particularly tall. My extremely literal personality tends to take them at that, face value. That being said, slowly but surely I am trying to notice that, while they are brown, they are a million colors of brown. Some parts of them look like massive slices of crumble cake. 

I've learned to appreciate the beauty of the torturous sun, of the sand that gets everywhere, of the dizzying roundabouts, of the towering white houses.

It's very strange to think that soon I will have to test these new found "skills" of noticing how ridiculously, completely amazing everything is with my journey back home. It will indeed be strange to finally be back in my normal, ordinary life, but I will strive to notice the little bits of American life that are so amazing as well.

Enjoy your day, everyone, and thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings. Notice the small things, if you can. You'll be surprised at what you may find!


  1. Hi! I love your blog and your exchange experience stories. I'd like to inform you about an intersting project... Could I have your contact?

  2. I'd rather not post these things on the internet: can you tell me about the project a little bit before I decide to give out that information?

  3. Is tumblr blocked in oman?

  4. No, it isn't as far as I know.