Wednesday, July 26, 2006

How to irritate Andy...

After spending close to 5,580 hours together -- nearly all in a row! -- Andy and I freaks of nature. Yes, yes, you're probably thinking we were freaks before, or freaks for even going on this Extravagasia, but I assure you it's much worse now. Challenge us to a game of Pictionary or Charades and we'll win in some abstract way using inside jokes that make no sense to anyone but us. At this point, we frequently think the same thing, recollect the exact memory or make similar free associations because so much of our past and present is shared and entwined. We'll be "weird" once we're back to "real" life; please be kind.

Andy and I know intimately which situations generate laughs and smiles for the other, and conversely, we know which ones will fire the other up in frustration. Our travels provided numerous experiences wholly unique to Asia that often appear like regional recurring nightmares, and while we've gotten better at handling them and supporting each other in the moment, they still exist. These little peeves never fail to elicit aggravation, soon after there's laughter and sheepish self-knowledge of "that kind of stuff just really pisses me off". One afternoon in Inle Lake in Myanmar, we'd had one of "those days" and were sitting out the monsoon in a cafe. Over mango lassis, Andy and I made a list of each other's "hot buttons" and felt it would be fun to share. You don't have to worry about us going "postal" upon our return, but there may be other seemingly innocuous things that trigger a petite rant and then quick reparations on how happy we are to have our own internet access and be free and clear of papaya. Again, be kind.

Oh yes, in case you were wondering: thankfully, perhaps impossibly, we still like each other after the journey...and probably love each other more.

So, what really, truly and consistently fires Andy up in Asia? ~> read more


1) Driving poorly -- in any vehicle, any place, any side of the road {note - this is not unique to Asia, but it got a lot worse over here!)

2) Advertising "Genuine Indian Food" and serving a "curry" using oyster sauce

3) Not having Firefox loaded and having an uber-slow connection speeds that rack up cost per minute

4) Honking with an air horn from a small vehicle

5) Saying "The price is normally XXX but I discount for you..." when there is actually no price listed anywhere and the seller just made up the "normal price" to gouge the Westerner and engage in a game of barter warfare (Andy is now a formidable, crafty barterer)

6) Assuming he wants "Western coffee" and serving Nescafe instant instead of the local strong brew laden with sweetened condensed milk

7) Returning his laundry minus a pair of Gap boxer shorts

8) Demanding just-minted US dollars in some godforsaken backwater

9) Charging a hefty domestic airport departure tax for maintenance when the building is a grass shack next to a runway with cats and birds running wild through the terminal

10) Imperfect or incomplete maps in mercilessly hot weather -- a.k.a. "The Hanoi Incident"


Anonymous norminaz said...

Andy -- I'm with you on the frustrations of trying to buy someting in Nowhere, Asia and the dealer refusing to consummate (oh, sounds so sexy) just because the dollar bill has a small rip on the edge......while at the same time their paper currency looks like something an elephant used for snorting dried prairie grass.

3:52 PM  

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