Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Things We Fear Upon Return...

Andy and I are talking more and more about "re-entry" to reality, and discovered we each have a few funny fears (beyond the basic "where will we live? will we find jobs? are my shoes still safe in storage?"...okay, so that's just me!)that stem directly from our months of travel in Asia.

Here's a list of things we're afraid of:

1) Entering a store, whether Nordstrom or Jamba Juice, and immediately bargaining over an item's -- any item -- price. "5 dollars for a Large Grape Escape? ... ha, ha. I'll give you $2.50, best price!" At this point, we're so used to reverse sticker shock...sticker prices are always negotiable, the reverse of what's true at home...that I could see us making fools out ourselves at the register.

2) Ignoring nice people on the street, many of whom we know, saying "Hello! Hello!" to us since that's what all the touts do here and we're able to walk by them these days without flinching or responding.

3) Enduring massive depression when we see the limited options of street food...What??? Only hot dogs? No pad thai, sticky rice~> read more

 or grilled corn with lemon salt!?!'s gonna be bad.

4) Ordering with our hands in a slow motion manner that ends with us holding up a finger and saying, "one order" -- pronouncing "one" as a three syllable word
"o-n-e" -- since mistakes have been made and we've ended up with two mango shakes, two plates of samosas and one puzzled server.

5) Experiencing momentary panic attacks when we unconsciously feel our chests for our travel pouches and realize we don't have our passports on our bodies.

6) Driving and crossing the street. At this point, we truly don't know left from right, red from green, stop from run-for-your-life since everything is subjective (who really stops their moto for red lights? which country's pedestrians ever get a 'walk' signal?) and changes country to country, no matter who colonized it!

7) Hoarding small change since no one ever has enough "small money" to break our ATM-generated big bills and make change for cab fares, bottled water and street food.

8) Thinking metric and being slow to understand common measurements as we convert naturally to kilos and kilometers and celsius, then doing the math backward to calculate it into inches, pounds and farenheit. Stepping on the scale will be a real downer too!

9) Dehydrating ourselves on purpose before getting on any form of public transportation so we don't have to use the public restroom facilities, i.e. the squat toilets with mothballs for freshness or the open troughs of urine with ice to cool its temperature and smell.

10) Unconsciously taking our shoes off outside of important public buildings and religious structures. The upside of this, however, is that we'll no longer need to tip the "shoe wallahs" who 'watch' our shoes when we enter temples, tombs and monuments.


Anonymous Mommy Moore said...

Some of these fears are funny, and others are both special and scary. We hope your "re-entry" goes smoother than you anticipate. I'll always remember your first wake-up morning at our home, Tiffany, after your return from your 10-week exchange program in Brszil. First you started talking to me in Portguguese, and then secondly, later, you hopped on the scales and announced your weight in kilos. (As you know, we Americans have never become "metricized!")

9:57 AM  

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