Wednesday, November 5, 2008

2 More Days


Im starting to miss life here.
Linguistically, culturally everyone is your friend.

You don't call people, Miss, Mr. etc. you call them older brother, baby sister. By talking to people, you automatically establish some sort of relationship.

This morning I had some good food and I needed new chop sticks, "Older sister, Can I get some chopsticks?"

"Right away little brother!" Because where you eat is two steps away from the kitchen, service, is better. And you just belt out what you need, "more meat please!" In the US, it takes a century and everyone is so concentrated on having manners, waiting polietly etc. etc.

Having manners is Vietnam is just a matter of smiling.


Across the street is the neighborhood tailor who fixed my shirt. Down half a block is where I got my hair cut. Down further is a market where they have the best Crab soup in the world. Next door is a shop that sells snake wine. Everything is at your finger tip, everyone is willing to speak to you. People know my face.


In the US... if you strike up a conversation, people feel that there is some sort of motivation. Because there is. In Vietnam, saying good moring and establishing a relationship is easy.

I do that too. When im at the supermarket in the US, an older lady would start talking to me and I would feel awkward. That feeling escapes me in Vietnam. "Are these chips good?" I asked these three teens... "Yeah!... um where are you from? Your accent is funny." It's like talking to a friend, bouncing questions back and forth.


Sigh. Maybe it's me. Maybe it's the identity that I have made for myself in the US is what needs adjusting. The first thing Im going to do in the states is order Vietnamese food in Vietnamese! And then start talking to strangers.

Because I can.

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